World Bulletin / News Desk
Six Uighurs tried to hijack a plane flying from a city in Uighur region where China officially calls "Xinjiang", on Friday but crew members and passengers thwarted them, authorities said.
The plane returned safely to the airport in Hotan city - which has seen clashes between mainly Muslim Uighurs and police due to simmering ethnic tensions - and the six have been detained, a government statement said on Friday.
Six people attempted to hijack a flight 10 minutes after it took off from an airport in Hotan, an ethnic Uighur area, the official Xinhua news agency said.
The Tianjin Airlines plane was flying from Hotan to the regional capital Urumqi when the attackers were overpowered, Xinhua said, citing police.
The aircraft returned to Hotan where six people were taken into custody, it said without giving further details. Calls to Xinjiang regional government and police offices went unanswered.
The region, Uighurs call "East Turkestan", is home to around nine million Uighurs, many of whom complain of religious and cultural repression by Chinese authorities - a claim the government denies - and the region is regularly hit by unrest.
Twelve children were injured this month when police raided an Islamic school in Hotan, amid an escalating crackdown by authorities on "illegal" religious activities.
In July last year, 20 Uighur protesters were killed in Hotan in a clash with police.
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