BEIJING — Four people were killed and eight more were injured in an attack in China's restive Central Asian frontier while the national legislature is meeting in the capital to install new leadership, an official said Friday.
Details are scant about Thursday's attack in the commercial heart of Korla, a city that's a center of the oil industry in the western Xinjiang region, site of simmering rebellion by Muslim Uighurs against Chinese rule. Online accounts said it may have been the result of a gambling dispute, while others characterized it as an attack by an ethnic Uighur against Han Chinese.
Regional spokeswoman Hou Hanmin said Friday she could not confirm the ethnicity of the victims or the suspect who was detained after the attack. Hou, who was in Beijing for the ongoing session of the national legislature, said police are investigating to find out if there were accomplices involved.
Uighurs have long complained that Chinese are displacing them in what they consider their homeland, and they chafe at controls on religion. Tensions between Uighurs and Han Chinese periodically bubble over into violence. In 2009, riots in the regional capital, Urumqi, left nearly 200 dead.