China: 8,000 New Police Officers Will Be Sent to Patrol Uighur Region. . The government will send thousands of police officers to rural villages in the northwestern region of Xinjiang amid concern about religious extremism in the heavily Muslim area, state media reported Monday. Xinhua, the state news agency, reported that 8,000 officers would be recruited so that every village in Xinjiang would have at least one officer on patrol. It said they would help manage migrants and crack down on illegal religious activities. Xinjiang is home to the Muslim Uighur ethnic group. Long-simmering resentment among Uighurs over rule by the Han Chinese majority and influxes of migrants has sporadically erupted into violence. . China boosts police presence in restless Xinjiang - Boston.com . The beefing up of the police force is a sign of Beijingâ€™s concern over unrest in Xinjiang, where long-simmering resentment against Chinese rule boiled over in 2009, when nearly 200 people were killed in fighting between native Uighurs and Han Chinese in the regional capital, Urumqi, according to the government. . Dozens have been killed or wounded in recent months, and authorities have increasingly relied on overwhelming force and heavy-handed policing to control the situation. China has blamed overseas activists for what it described as organized terrorist attacks, specifically Pakistan-based militants affiliated with al-Qaida. Violence has also worsened in Tibetan areas to the south, following the self-immolations of Buddhist monks, nuns and former clergy. Police have fired into crowds of protesters, killing and wounding dozens, while barring outsiders from traveling to the area. . Xinjiang regional spokeswoman Hou Hanmin confirmed to The Associated Press that the 8,000 officers were being recruited under a â€œone village, one officerâ€™â€™ campaign. She said their main job would be to improve public services.The deployment also appears aimed at avoiding a Xinjiang crisis during a year that will see the start of a generational leadership transition in Beijing. . Leading Xinjiang security official Xiong Xuanguo pledged earlier this month to strictly guard against â€œviolent terrorismâ€™â€™ and create a â€œharmonious social environmentâ€™â€™ ahead of the ruling Communist Partyâ€™s national congress due this fall, an event held once every five years.â€œLocal authorities must further improve their capabilities for maintaining social stability and amplify the crackdown on religious extremist activities,â€™â€™ Xiong said.As with Tibetans, Xinjiangâ€™s Uighurs have been angered by restrictions on cultural and religious life, as well as an influx of Han migrants they feel has left them economically marginalized in their own homelands.