A clash between knife-wielding attackers and police in China's volatile Xinjiang region left 16 people dead, including two police officers.
The officers were pursuing a terrorist suspect when they were attacked with knives, state media reported.
A spokesperson for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said "within the law."
Hua Chunying said assailants "used explosive devices to attack police officers" and attacked them with knives.
The incident is the latest in the string of deadly clashes between the Muslim Uighur population and the state in China's western Xinjiang region.
Sweden-based Uighur activist Dilxat Raxit said the incident was the latest example of how Chinese security forces are "increasingly opting to kill suspects at the scene rather than capturing them and putting them on trial."
More top news
The former cabinet minister joined the Twitter community to commemorate the day he accidentally tweeted his own name.
A couple has been warned that their mail could be suspended because their cat puts the postman's fingers at risk of injury.
The football club will make history if they beat Manchester United this weekend - and Gary Lineker will present MOTD in his undies.