June 2013 Shanshan riots

On 26 June 2013, rioting broke out in Shanshan County, in the autonomous region of Xinjiang, China. 35 people died in the riots, including 22 civilians, two police officers and eleven attackers.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10]

June 2013 Shanshan riots
LocationShanshan, Xinjiang Autonomous Region, China
Date26 June 2013 (2013-06-26)
6:00 a.m. CST
Attack type
Knife attack
Deaths35 in total
11 rioters
22 civilians
2 police officers[1]
MotiveIslamic extremism[2]


According to The Economist: "Spontaneous anger triggered by heavy-handed controls on religious expression is probably a bigger factor than officials are prepared to admit. In Turpan, the prefecture to which Shanshan belongs, the authorities have been waging a campaign to persuade Uighur men not to grow long beards and women not to wear the veil or other Islamic clothing. Those living in neighbourhoods where all residents comply are given preferential access to loans and government-sponsored job-training schemes. They can also obtain government subsidies for funerals and weddings. Even the sale and manufacture of the jilbab, a full-length outer garment worn by Muslim women, has been banned."[11]


On 26 June 2013, terrorists in Lukqun Township, Shanshan County in Xinjiang attacked a police station and a local government building, killing two policemen and 22 civilians. Eleven of the attackers were also killed. This attack was one of the bloodiest attacks in Xinjiang since 2009.[1][12][13]


Following the riots, domestic-security chief, Meng Jianzhu, and head of minority affairs, Yu Zhengsheng, were dispatched to the region. Security forces also conducted military parades in the region in a show of force.[11]


In response to the riots, Chinese media blamed violence in its own Xinjiang province in June 2013 on extremists from Syria. The Global Times reported that members of an East Turkestan faction had traveled from Turkey to Syria. "This Global Times reporter has recently exclusively learned from the Chinese anti-terrorism authorities that since 2012, some members of the 'East Turkestan' faction have entered Syria from Turkey, participated in extremist, religious and terrorist organisations within the Syrian opposition forces and fought against the Syrian army. At the same time, these elements from 'East Turkestan' have identified candidates to sneak into Chinese territory to plan and execute terrorist attacks." It also cited the arrest of 23-year-old Maimaiti Aili, of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), and said that he fought in the Syrian civil war. Dilxat Raxit, the Sweden-based spokesman for the World Uyghur Congress, replied to the accusation that "Uighurs already find it very difficult to get passports, how can they run off to Syria?" While the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying did not directly respond to the claims she said that China has "also noted that in recent years East Turkestan terrorist forces and international terrorist organizations have been uniting, not only threatening China's national security but also the peace and stability of relevant countries and regions."[14]

In Turfan's town of Lukchun the attack on 26 June 2013 was congratulated by the Turkistan Islamic Party who called the attackers "mujahideen" in the "Islamic Turkistan" magazine in its 14th edition.[15]


  1. ^ a b zhu, Ningzhu (27 June 2013). "Rioters kill 24 in Xinjiang". Xinhua News Agency. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
  2. ^ "China Claims Foreign Terrorists Are Linked to Xinjiang Violence". Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg. July 2013.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". www.washingtonpost.com. Archived from the original on 26 June 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Buckley, Chris (26 June 2013). "27 die in Rioting in Western China". The New York Times.
  5. ^ "Xinjiang Violence Leaves 27 Dead After Clash With Police". Bloomberg. 26 June 2013.
  6. ^ Associated Press in Beijing (26 June 2013). "Riots in China's Xinjiang province kill dozens". The Guardian.
  7. ^ "Dozens killed in riots in western China – Asia-Pacific". Al Jazeera.
  8. ^ "Police kill 10 in Xinjiang, violence claims 27". The Standard. Archived from the original on 5 July 2015.
  9. ^ Wade, Samuel (26 June 2013). "27 Dead in Xinjiang Violence (Updated)". China Digital Times.
  10. ^ Celia Hatton (26 June 2013). "Violence in China's Xinjiang 'kills 27'". BBC.
  11. ^ a b "Ethnic unrest in Xinjiang: Unveiled threats". The Economist. 6 July 2013.
  12. ^ Austin, Henry. "Report: 36 killed after knife gang attacks China police station". NBC News. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  13. ^ "China says riots in western Xinjiang region, home to Uighur Muslim minority, leave 27 dead". The Associated Press via CBS News. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  14. ^ "China state media blames Syria rebels for Xinjiang violence". Reuters. 1 July 2013.
  15. ^ "بيان بمناسبة العملية العسكرية في قرية "لُكْجُن" التابعة "طُرْفان" التركستان" (PDF). تركستان الإسلامية. No. العدد الرابع عشر. January 2014. p. 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 October 2015.