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Report: 36 killed after knife gang attacks China police station

Knife-wielding assailants killed nine policemen and 17 civilians in a bloody attack that only ended after 10 attackers were shot dead in western China early Wednesday.

At least three people were also injured during the early morning assault on the Lukqun Township in Xinjiang province, Chinese state media agency Xinhua reported.

If confirmed, it would be one of the bloodiest incidents in Xinjiang since nearly 200 people were killed in the regional capital, Urumqi, in 2009.

The region, which borders Afghanistan and Pakistan, has been the scene of numerous violent incidents in recent years amid tensions between the large population of Muslim Uighurs and the ruling Han ethnic group.

Describing the violence as “riots,” Xinhua said that a police station, government buildings and a construction site were targeted in the attack which took place at 6 a.m. local time (6 p.m. Tuesday ET).

Three attackers were reportedly arrested but with information tightly controlled in the region, it has been impossible to verify the figures.

A press officer at the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau, the region's police, told The Associated Press that she had only seen news of the violence on the Internet and had no information.

Other officials at the local propaganda department and local police also said they had no details.

Dilxat Raxit, a spokesman for the Germany-based World Uyghur Congress, told The Associated Press that the conflict was triggered by the Chinese government's "sustained repression and provocation" of the Uighur community.

He also urged the international community to pressure China to "stop imposing policies in Xinjiang that cause turmoil."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.