XINJIANG, China, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Five people are dead -- four killed by Chinese authorities -- after a car bomb was detonated in a Communist Party compound in the western part of China Thursday afternoon.
A car was driven into the government compound in the Xinjiang region of China on Thursday, killing one and injuring three in a blast set off by four men who were killed by police after they detonated a homemade explosive device.
The explosion is the latest unrest in Xinjiang, a majority Muslim area of China, which has sustained several terror attacks in the last few years. While China blames outside interlopers and Muslim extremists for the attacks, experts say repressive policies in the region and the rest of the country are really to blame.
According to Chinese officials, a car crashed into the yard of Xinjiang's Communist Party office just before 5 p.m. where the four men detonated an explosive device. An official at the complex was killed in the attack, and three others injured, in addition to the four attackers shot dead by police.
China controls Xinjiang, but it is relatively autonomous. The population there is about half Muslim, though there has been an increase of Han Chinese moving there in recent years that has contributed to fears among the Uighers, who are Turkic Muslims, that the culture that has existed there will be diluted by an increase in Chinese there.
Separatists have been blamed for violence in Xinjiang and other parts of China since 2013, however Beijing's concern about either terrorists coming from other countries or those already living in the province becoming radicalized has led to crackdowns by authorities.
Last month, Xinjiang residents were forced to give up their passports, and then reapply for them if they planned to travel outside the country.