At least ten people were injured when crew-members and passengers of a Chinese passenger plane foiled a hijack attempt over the country's far west Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region on Friday.
Six people, suspected to be Uighur Muslims, allegedly tried to hijack Tianjin Airlines' Flight GS 7554 with 100 people on board just 10 minutes after it took off from the Hotan Airport en route to the regional capital Urumqi, about 1,400 kilometer away, China's state media reported quoting police officials.
Crew-members and passengers foiled the attempt by overpowering the would be hijackers. Two flight marshals and seven passengers were injured in the incident.
The six suspects were detained after the plane safely returned to the Hotan airport canceling the flight. Police have not revealed whether the hijackers took firearms or weapons on board.
Xinjiang is home to around nine million Uighurs, an ethnic Muslim minority, who often complain about religious and cultural repression by Chinese authorities. Clashes between police and Uighurs are frequent in the region and 20 Uighur Muslim protesters were killed in Hotan in clashes with police last year.
by RTT Staff Writer
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