Up to 15 people have been killed in an attack in China's western Xinjiang region, according to the state news agency.

Xinhua said besides the dead, 14 people were injured in what it said was a terrorist attack on Friday in Shache county.

The Tianshan news portal said on Saturday that the attackers used vehicles, knives and explosives in the assault. The dead included 11 of the attackers, it said.

The district of Shache, or Yarkand in the Uighur language, was the scene of violent clashes in July, shortly before the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Xinjiang is frequently hit by unrest prompted by fierce tensions between China's ethnic Han majority and the Turkic-speaking Muslim Uighurs, with authorities regularly blaming Uighur fighters for the violence.

Some Uighurs in the region region are hostile to the Communist Part's leadership.

They say they are victims of discrimination and left out of the benefits of development in Xinjiang, which has seen an influx of Han Chinese moving in from elsewhere in the country.

Experts and human rights activists say that policies regarding religion and culture adopted by China stoke tensions in the region.

Source: Agencies