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Riots in Urumqi, 156 Dead, Hundreds More Injured, and Thousands Arrested

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Yesterday’s riots in the city of Urumqi, located in China’s western Xinjiang province, have left at least 156 people dead and over 800 people injured. Xinhua (Chinese State Media) claims there have been over 1434 arrests.

Xinhua further reports the government said: “An initial investigation showed the violence was masterminded by the separatist World Uighur Congress led by Rebiya Kadeer.” Kadeer is considered the Uigher leader and lives in exile in the United States.

Many in Xinjiang have long campaigned to gain independence from China, which is made up of prominently Han Chinese, while  Xinjiang is primarily Uigher Muslims.

The CNN article on the topic is here:http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/07/06/china.uyghur.protest/index.html


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  1. […] This post was Twitted by theworldnow […]

    Twitted by theworldnow

    July 6, 2009 at 04:18

  2. The normally bustling mosques of China’s Urumqi city were ordered shut on the main Muslim day of prayer today with police out in force to prevent new outbreaks of deadly ethnic unrest.

    Uighur Muslims said they had been directed to pray at home, as armed forces saturated the streets of the northwest Xinjiang region’s capital five days after clashes that authorities said left 156 people dead.

    “The government said there would be no Friday prayers,” said a Uighur man named Tursun outside the Hantagri mosque, one of the oldest in the capital, as about 100 policemen carrying machine guns and batons stood guard nearby.

    “There’s nothing we can do… the government is afraid that people will use religion to support the three forces.”

    The “three forces”‘ is a Chinese government term referring to extremism, separatism and terrorism, forces it says are trying to split the remote Xinjiang region from the rest of the country.

    Xinjiang’s eight million Uighurs have long complained about religious, political and economic repression under Chinese rule, and this deep-set anger spilled out on Sunday in protests that quickly turned violent.

    The Chinese government said 156 people were killed and more than 1,000 others were injured, as Uighur Muslims attacked people from China’s dominant Han ethnic group.

    But Uighur exiles have said security forces over-reacted to peaceful protests. They said up to 800 people may have died in the unrest.

    Many security forces remained in place today, and the traditional Muslim day of prayer passed with many Uighurs and other Muslims such as from the Hui ethnic group unable to attend mosques. “Go home to pray,” said handwritten notices on the front gates of five shuttered mosques visited yesterday.

    When asked if all mosques in Urumqi were closed today, a spokesman for the Xinjiang regional government said that “all religious activities should go on normally,” without elaborating.



    July 10, 2009 at 00:24

  3. Heavily armed security forces were out in force in Urumqi yesterday close to where police shot dead two Muslim Uygurs who state media said were calling for jihad.

    Large groups of police armed with semi-automatic weapons and batons were deployed close to the scene of yesterday’s violence, where authorities said police shot and killed two Uygur lawbreakers and wounded another.

    Meanwhile, an Algeria-based al-Qaeda affiliate was calling for reprisals against Chinese workers in northern Africa, according to an intelligence report by a London-based risk analysis firm.
    It is the first time Osama bin Laden’s network has directly threatened China or its interests, it noted.

    Foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said China would take all precautions to protect its overseas interests, while not commenting directly on the alleged al-Qaeda threat.



    July 14, 2009 at 23:43

  4. More needle attacks in Urumqi

    There has been a fresh wave of needle attacks in recent days despite heavy security in Urumqi city, state media reported, adding that the number of arrests had grown to 45.

    Police in the capital of the northwestern Xinjiang region said they received reports of 77 needle attacks between Sunday afternoon and Monday afternoon, the China Daily said.

    Authorities had previously reported a total of 531 assaults.

    The attacks came despite the deployment of thousands of armed police throughout the city following large-scale protests last week in which demonstrators demanded government action to stop the attacks.

    The paper said police had apprehended 10 more suspects over the needle attacks, raising the total to 45. Authorities have said some attackers could be given the death penalty if convicted of spreading toxic substances.

    The attacks have caused ethnic tensions to spike once again in the city, the scene of deadly unrest on July 5 that pitted Xinjiang’s minority Uygurs against members of China’s dominant Han ethnic group.

    Nearly 200 people died in the July violence, mostly Han Chinese.
    The mainly Muslim Uygurs have long seethed at what many say has been decades of Chinese oppression and unwanted immigration of millions of ethnic Han.

    Han residents of the city have blamed Uygurs for the needle attacks. There are fears the assailants used syringes containing dangerous chemicals, viruses or other substances that could be harmful.

    Officials have so far said no evidence of such risks has been detected, although the city’s prosecutor on Saturday described one case involved drug users assaulting a police officer with a syringe containing heroin.

    Authorities have tightened restrictions on the possession of some chemicals, Xinhua news agency reported late on Tuesday.

    The head of the Urumqi branch of the Communist Party and Xinjiang’s top police official were both sacked Saturday in the wake of the needle attacks and subsequent protests.



    September 9, 2009 at 23:21

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