KASHGAR, China, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- Witnesses contradicted official accounts of an alleged terrorism incident in China blamed on Uighur separatists, The New York Times reported Monday.
The newspaper said tourists who said they witnessed the Aug. 4 incident in Kashgar, China, in which at least 16 police officers died, say that rather than a clear-cut example of Uighur terrorism aimed at disrupting the Beijing Summer Olympics, they saw and photographed police officers attacking each other with machetes.
Accounts given by Chinese officials and published by the state-run news agency Xinhua maintained that a man plowed a truck into a cadre of police officers and that another ran up to the scene with weapons, with each tossing an explosive. The two men were captured and had been found with unused explosives and machetes, officials said.
But three tourists interviewed by the newspaper said that the truck driver emerged from the vehicle already seriously injured and that police were the ones wielding the machetes, which they used to attack each other.
Chinese officials declined to say anything more about the event, the Times said. It was the first of four August assaults they have blamed separatists in the Xinjiang autonomous region.