East Turkestan : Uyghurs 'Prepared To Fight And Die'

Four Uyghur men shot dead by Chinese authorities last week for suspected bomb-making in the region were prepared for their death and even had made their own funeral arrangements.The men were gunned down in a pre-dawn raid at a farmhouse near Korla city on Thursday as part of the Chinese government's "strike hard"campaign in the region.The four men, armed only with knives, knew they had no chance against the gun-toting police.Seypidin, a senior security official at Korla city, said one woman told police that a neighbor had alerted the Uyghur men just before the raid."It was around three o'clock. Our neighbors knocked gently at our door," he quoted the woman as saying.

"My husband went out and after 10 minutes, he came back to our room and kissed our children one by one and hugged me and whispered, ‘This is my last hug, we will meet in another world. I have only one expectation from you—don’t show your tears to our children under any circumstance.'

"After that, my husband put us in another room—all women and children in the farmhouse were placed in one room.”

Syepidin said her statement "clearly proved that the suspects had prepared to fight with us and die."

Seypidin said some top officials had criticized the police operation because none of the suspects were captured alive.

Police identified the ringleader of the suspected bomb-making activity as Nesrulla, who they said moved to the farmhouse from Korla city after a warrant for his arrest was issued on March 5.

Nesrulla also moved his wife and their son to Hejing county two days before the shooting.

Police who monitored the wife's house in Hejing had detained 12 people who visited her.

The incident adds to tensions in Xinjiang, where Uyghurs complain of policies favoring Han Chinese migration into the region and the unfair allocation of resources to the Chinese.

Ten days earlier, 20 people were killed in attacks in Kargilik county in Kashgar prefecture.

The government said that a group of Uyghurs had stabbed to death 13 people before police shot dead seven of the attackers in the violence.