(Reuters) – The Islamic State has killed three Chinese militants who joined its ranks in Syria and Iraq and later attempted to flee, a Chinese state-run newspaper said, the latest account of fighters from China embroiled in the Middle East conflict.
China has expressed concern about the rise of the Islamic State, nervous about the effect it could have on its Xinjiang region, which borders Pakistan and Afghanistan.
But Beijing has also shown no sign of wanting to take part in the U.S.-led coalition’s efforts to use military force against the militant group.
Around 300 Chinese extremists were fighting with the Islamic State after traveling toTurkey, the Global Times, a tabloid run by China’s ruling Communist Party’s official newspaper, said in December.
The paper on Thursday cited an unnamed Kurdish security official as saying that a Chinese man was “arrested, tried and shot dead” in Syria in late September by the Islamic State after he became disillusioned with jihad and attempted to return to Turkey to attend university.
“Another two Chinese militants were beheaded in late December in Iraq, along with 11 others from six countries. The Islamic State charged them with treason and accused them of trying to escape,” the official said, according to the paper.