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Dozens dead in China mob rampage

A mob armed with knives has rampaged through part of China's Xinjiang region, leaving dozens of people dead, state media reported.

Many other people were injured in the violence in Shache county near the city of Kashgar in the volatile north-western region, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

It said the mob first attacked a police station and government offices in the township of Elixku before moving on to a neighbouring township, attacking civilians and smashing vehicles along the way.

Xinhua said dozens of people were killed or injured in the attacks. It also said that police shot and killed dozens of the attackers.

"An initial investigation showed that it was a premeditated terror attack. Further investigation is under way," Xinhua said.

There has been increasing violence in Xinjiang in recent months blamed on pro-independence militants from the region's native Turkic Uighur Muslim ethnic group.

While some of the attacks have shown an increased level of sophistication and planning, most have relied on crude weaponry such as swords, bombs and home-made explosives.

China's government says the attackers have ties to overseas Islamic terror groups, although it has provided little evidence to back up its claim.

Uighur activists say repressive Chinese cultural and religious policies are fuelling resentment among Uighurs, along with a sense that the benefits of economic growth in the resource-rich region are flowing disproportionately to migrants from the country's Han Chinese majority.

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