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China Says Islamic State Fighters Back From Syria Caught In Xinjiang

Herdsmen hold their falcons as they ride on horses during a hunting competition in Akqi county, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

The top Communist official in China's northwestern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region says extremists from the mainly Muslim region have been apprehended after returning from fighting in Syria with the Islamic State group.

Zhang Chunxian, party head in Xinjiang, told reporters on March 10 that the radicals were caught when a terror plot was recently uncovered.

The Global Times Daily, which is affiliated with the ruling party newspaper People's Daily, quoted Zhang as saying that the perpetrators had returned to Xinjiang, the homeland of China's Turkic speaking mainly Muslim Uighur ethnic minority, to participate in violent terror plots

Zhang did not give any details on the dates or the detained individuals' names.

More than 100 people have been killed in Xinjiang last year in violence and scores of Uyghurs have been imprisoned or sentenced to death for those attacks.

Uyghurs have long complained about their treatment under Chinese rule.

The ruling Communist Party tightly restricts access to the restive region, and information is difficult to independently verify.

Based on reporting by Global Times, Reuters and AFP