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The Xinjiang region has always been a strategic priority for China because of its natural resources, including the largest coal reserves in the country, and its proximity to even bigger energy sources in Central Asia.

28 terrorists killed in 56-day hunt in Xinjiang operation

On July 28, 2014, dozens of Uygur and Han civilians were killed or injured in an “organized and premeditated” attack in Shache County, Kashgar Prefecture.

URUMQI November 20 – Xinjiang police have disbanded a terrorist group after a 56 day manhunt in the far west Chinese region.

On September 18, a group of heavily armed men launched an attack on a coal mine in Baicheng county of Aksu prefecture, killing a total of 11 civilians, three policemen and two para-police members and injuring 18 others, according to a statement from the publicity department of Xinjiang.

They later managed to escape into the mountains. A daily manhunt then began by police forces that involved more than 10,000 citizens and police searching an area of 1,300 square kilometers.

By November 12, 28 group members had been killed during gun fights with police. One of the groups armed men surrendered.

The terrorist group was directly trained and guided by an overseas extremists group, led by two local Xinjiang males named Musa Tohniyaz and Mamat Aysa, a statement said. It added that the name of the organization could not be disclosed as investigations are still underway.

“In 2008, members of the group began watching videos containing messages of religious extremism, gradually reinforcing their extreme beliefs,” the statement said.

The group contacted overseas extremist organizations six times, before they actually committed the killing. They contacted them again for guidance while they were on the run from police.

“The overseas extremists gave orders and demanded they pledge allegiance,” the statement said.

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