Uyghurs and Guards Killed in Border Shootout

April 20, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

On April 18 at least 16 Chinese illegal immigrants, most or all of them Uyghurs, got involved in a deadly shootout with Vietnamese border police as they tried to cross into Vietnam, reports say.

Vietnamese media said that at least two border police and five Uyghur immigrants died in the shootout, and an unknown number were wounded.

After apprehending the travelers, while Vietnamese border crossing staff were completing the necessary deportation documents, some of the Chinese snatched AK-47 rifles from the armed Vietnamese guards and began shooting. 

Because of severe repression in China, Uyghurs sometimes try to flee to other countries in desperation. Thailand was recently involved in an incident last month which drew international attention, as they prepared to repatriate over 200 Uyghurs there. In February, human rights groups criticized Malaysia for secretly deporting six Uyghurs seeking asylum late last year.