The Chinese army recently used a flamethrower to drive suspected terrorists out of a cave in the Xinjiang region of the country, according to reports. However, the victims may have been innocent Muslims.
China's government-run newspaper, People's Liberation Army (PLA) Daily, announced that grenades and tear gas were first used by soldiers, but when those weapons did not work, a senior officer told the troops, “Use the flamethrower," according to both RT.com and the Daily Express.
After 28 suspected terrorists came out of the cave, they were "completely annihilated,” noted the government-controlled newspaper. China claimed the victims were "foreign-led extremists" responsible for killing 16 coal miners in Aksu, Xinjiang, in September, reports RT.com.
However, Dilate Raxit, a spokesperson for the World Uighur Congress (an exiled Muslim group), said that "[t]he Paris attacks gave China a political excuse to brazenly use flamethrowers to clamp down on unarmed Uighurs who have no just legal protection and who seek to avoid arrest,” according to the Daily Express.
This alleged attack comes after Fang Jinghui, a Chinese citizen, was reportedly executed by ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, ISIL or Daesh. After the execution, Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed to "hold the perpetrators accountable" and "resolutely crack down on violent terrorist operations that devastate innocent lives."