Beijing, Aug 10 IANS | 4 months ago

As many as 18 suspects have surrendered to the police in connection with last month's terrorist attack in China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, the regional government said Sunday

The attack took place in Shache county of Xinjiang's Kashgar prefecture June 28 and claimed the lives of 37 civilians.

"Few of the surrendered suspects were diehard terrorists, and many of them were cheated or coerced into joining the attack," Xinhua reported citing Shache public security bureau official Abdulkeyum Abdukhadir as saying.

If found guilty, the suspects who turned themselves in will get a lighter sentence, while those who are still on the loose were warned to surrender as soon as possible, Abdukhadir said.

Police shot dead 59 of the attackers and subsequently, arrested 215 others, confiscating banners proclaiming "holy war".

A gang armed with knives and axes attacked a police station and government offices in Elixku township, and some moved on to the nearby Huangdi township, attacking civilians and smashing vehicles as they passed.

On Aug 1, the Shache government made an announcement calling for public tip-offs about the suspects' whereabouts.

"In the past several days, I have been thinking about the innocent people who were injured and killed in the attack. Their children and parents must be in pain for their lifetime," said Yusup Eli, one of the suspects.

On the day the attack took place, Eli was attending Muslim worship when a group of people broke into the mosque and roared about "holy war".

"Thinking about nothing, I rushed home to pick up a hoe to use as a weapon and joined in the rioting," he said.

Among the dead were 35 Hans and two Uygurs.

Thirty-one vehicles were damaged in the violent attack.

(Posted on 11-08-2014)

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