Six young Uighur men tried to hijack a Tianjin Airlines flight from Hetian, in southwest Xinjiang, to Urumqi last Friday. Air marshals and passengers beat them and tied them up. Two died of their injuries:
Dilxat Raxit, spokesman for the German-based World Uyghur Congress which campaigns for Uighurs’ rights, said that it wasn’t a hijacking attempt but an in-flight brawl over a seat dispute.
Friday’s incident occurred just a few days before the anniversary of the July 2009 riots in Urumqi when nearly 200 people were killed in fighting between Han Chinese and Uighurs.