Here's a bit of terrifying news. Two men accused to trying to hijack a plane in the Chinese region of Xinjiang have died in hospital.

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According to the state newspaper (via the Global Times), a total of six men reportedly attempted to hijack the plane on a Tianjin Airlines' flight after it left from the Xinjiang city of Hotan on Friday.

The two who died suffered "injuries received in a fight with passengers and crew during the attempted hijacking". The men had attempted to use a crutch to gain access to the cockpit, but were beaten back by passengers and crew. The other hijackers are reportedly still in hospital after apparently mutilating themselves.

Shortly after the incident, representative from the government confirmed that the attackers were Uighurs, which is an ethnic group linked to central Asian communities who claim they are being repressed by Chinese authorities. The attack appeared to be tied to the third year anniversary of inter-racial riots in the capital of Urumqi.

Meanwhile, the exiled World Uyghur Congress (WUC) has denounced the government's official version of events, claiming that the fight broke out between the outnumbered Uighurs and Han Chinese over a seating dispute on the plane.