China confirms raid on alleged terror cell in restive northwest, but details remain sketchy

China has confirmed its police conducted a raid last week on an alleged terrorist cell in the restive northwestern region of Xinjiang.

Officials have refused to discuss the bloody Aug. 20 incident. Details about the death toll and identities of those killed remain sketchy.

However, the official Kashgar Daily newspaper reported the raid Wednesday in an article on the memorial service for policeman Yan Xiaofei, who was killed in the clash. It said the 32-year-old SWAT team deputy commander was killed while taking part in an action to "deal with a band of violent terrorists," but did not elaborate.

U.S. government-funded station Radio Free Asia said 22 members of Xinjiang's native Uighur ethnic group were killed in the raid. It said they were reportedly attacked while performing Muslim prayers.