The imam of China’s largest mosque in Xinjiang province was killed by three suspected religious extremists on Wednesday, Xinjiang Television reported on Friday.
Police shot dead two of the suspects and arrested another, the report said.
Jume Tahir, imam of the Id Kah Mosque in the city of Kashgar, was killed just after he finished leading the sunrise prayers.
The 74-year-old leader was highly revered by Muslims nationwide, and he often condemned those who engaged in terrorist activities in the name of Islam. Police said investigation showed that the assailants were religious extremists.
Xinjiang party secretary Zhang Chunxian vowed to stamp out terrorism in the strife-torn region as he asked the people to unite and fight religious extremism. Zhang also stressed the role of education in the campaign, the report said.
On Monday morning, at least 13 soldiers were killed by Uyghur militants who attacked local government offices and police stations in Shache county. Some 20 suspects were killed.
The attack came on the eve of Eid al-Fitr, a festival marking the end of Ramadan, the holiest month for Muslims.
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