Uighurs in northwestern China
Uighurs in northwestern China

Police in China's western Xinjiang region say they have fatally shot two men who participated in a killing spree that is being blamed on Pakistani-trained terrorists.

According to police reports, the men were found hiding in a cornfield outside the city of Kashgar, where six people were killed and another 15 wounded after an attack by militants on Sunday.

Officials now say that they have killed or captured all those involved in the attack.

Sunday's killings are set to raise tensions between Pakistan and China as officials said the attackers were trained at camps in Pakistan which are run by the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, an extremist group seeking independence for the ethnic Uighur population of Xinjiang.

The two countries had recently enjoyed a flourishing relationship, with analysts accusing Pakistan of turning to China just as its own relationship with the U.S. is falling apart.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry pledged cooperation with China in combating the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, which is listed by the United States and other countries as a terrorist organization, but Beijing is now likely to ask Pakistani authorities to step up their games.

Meanwhile, despite condemning the attack and regretting the loss of life, In Washington, a spokesman for the Uyghur American Association pointed out that many Uighurs have been pushed to "extreme desperation" by a "relentless atmosphere of fear and hopelessness."

The organization insisted China's government must acknowledge it had created a climate of fear and should now ensure that the persecution of the Uighurs people stops once and for all, if it wants the violence to stops.
Tensions between the Uyghur minority and Chinese authorities have been on the surged after the 2009, ethnic riots involving Uighurs and Han Chinese killed about 200 people.

According to reports, on Saturday a first violent attack took place after two men hijacked a truck, killed its driver and drove into the crowd.

Authorities say the men jumped out of the vehicle, and proceeded to assault passers-by causing the death of eight people.

Then, on Sunday, another deadly attack took place after a group of men killed the owner of a restaurant and a waiter, before setting the entire building on fire. The men then reportedly started hacking people in the street, killing four more civilians.

According to authorities five of the attackers have been killed while others were captured and security forces across Xinjiang have said to have been importantly increased.

While arresting and bringing to justice the perpetrators of the attack is a necessity, it is unlikely to stop the ethnic violence from continuing. As the region has been prone to tensions and violence for a few years a real dialogue between the Uyghur minority and the Chinese authorities needs to be implemented as Islamist fundamentalist usually tend to focus elements of society that feel deeply marginalised.