CHINESE police have killed six people during a "terrorist" attack in the region of Xinjiang.

State media said six more also died when explosives they were carrying detonated.

News agency Xinhua said police came under attack on Friday as a small group began throwing explosive devices at them.

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Xinjiang has been the site of unrest in recent years, which the government often blames on the separatist East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), though experts cast doubt on its existence as a cohesive group.