Dune Lawrence
July 5, 2008

Police locked down Kashgar, cut Internet access in China’s westernmost major city and detained journalists after an attack yesterday by members of the Uighur ethnic group killed 16 officers, according to media reports.

Web access was shut today in the city, Agence-France Pressereported, citing the staff of Yiquan Hotel, across the road from where yesterday’s attack occurred. Two reporters working for Japan’s Chunichi newspaper and Nippon Television Network were detained by police for two hours and beaten before being released, Kyodo English News said, citing the journalists’ employers.

“Journalists are forbidden to enter the area controlled by border police, but the two disobeyed the rules,” Kashgar’s government spokesman Eskar said today, according to a report by state news agency Xinhua. “We are sorry for the incident and the damage to the equipment that belonged to the reporters.”

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