Beijing: As many as 17 public officials, including police officers, were given penalties after they were held accountable for the terrorist attack in China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region in July.

The Xinjiang Regional Committee of the Communist Party of China gave a list of the penalised officials, including county and town officials, a vice secretary-general of Kashgar’s Islamic association and several police officers, Xinhua reported.

He Limin, party chief of Shache county, was demoted and stripped of his party position.

A series of terrorist attacks in Xinjiang shocked the country this year, with the latest in late July when 37 civilians were killed and 13 others injured in Shache county of Kashgar prefecture.

The incident was followed by the murder of 74-year-old religious leader Jume Tahir in China’s largest mosque, the Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar, July 30 by extremists.

Police shot dead 59 of the attackers and subsequently, arrested 215 others, confiscating banners proclaiming “holy war”.

A gang armed with knives and axes attacked a police station and government offices in Elixku township, and some moved on to the nearby Huangdi township, attacking civilians and smashing vehicles as they passed.