China says police shot and killed six would-be bombers in the latest violence in the far northwestern region of Xinjiang.

The official TS News website said police were called to a business district in the town of Shule on Monday morning. It said a man was shot and killed after he charged police with an axe and attempted to detonate an explosive device.

The website said another five suspects with bombs were also shot and killed in a clean-up operation. No others were injured.

No word was given on the identity of the suspects, although at least 400 people have been killed in and outside the region over the past two years in violence blamed on radicals among Xinjiang's native Uighur ethnic group.