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China: 96 killed last week in Xinjiang

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BEIJING (AP) — Chinese state media are reporting that 37 civilians and 59 attackers were killed last week in the restive western province of Xinjiang.

It's the first time the official Xinhua News Agency has released a death toll for the violence. It said previously that dozens were killed.

According to Xinhua, attackers armed with knives and axes stormed a police station and government offices in Elixku township last Monday and then moved onto nearby Huangdi township. The agency says 13 people were injured and 215 attackers arrested.

That official account is disputed by the U.S.-based Uyghur American Association, which represents the prevalent ethnic group in Xinjiang. It quoted local sources as saying police opened fire on people protesting Chinese security forces' crackdown on Muslims during Ramadan.

Neither version could be independently verified.

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