State paper: China arrests Turks in alleged plot to smuggle out Uighurs, including to Syria

A Chinese state newspaper says Shanghai police have detained nine terror suspects from an ethnic minority in western China plus 10 Turkish people accused of helping them illegally travel abroad, including to Syria.

The Global Times reported Wednesday that the Turks were arrested in November when the nine Chinese Uighurs attempted to sneak out of China with altered Turkish passports. The nine Uighurs, plus two other Chinese nationals who allegedly helped them, also were detained.

Citing Shanghai police, the report said each of the nine Uighurs was charged 60,000 yuan ($10,000) to leave the country via Shanghai's international airport.

Asked if he could confirm the report, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters he believed it was "full and accurate" and had nothing to add.