Islamic Terrorism in India

Most Muslims are not terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslims

Muslim Uighurs riot in China, 156 dead, 800 injured

Posted by jagoindia on July 9, 2009

This article from wikinews seems to give a balanced picture.  Link

Q&A: Troubles in Xinjiang

Amateur footage of toy factory riots

protests video footage

Uighur and Han describe deadly violence

Han seek revenge after Uighur rioting

If Only the Uighurs Were Buddhist and China Was Israel

Background The riot began Sunday in Ürümqi, the capital city of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, in northwestern China. It began as a protest encouraging authorities to look into a previous violent incident between Uighurs and Han Chinese in June. In the June incident, two Uighur men were reportedly beaten to death by a mob at a Guangdong province toy factory. A rumour spread that the men had sexually harassed Han Chinese women. According to Chinese state media, police have arrested a man who allegedly spread the rumour. The June clash has been cited as the instigating factor to the Sunday riot, which escalated.

China says at least 156 dead in Uighur riots

URUMQI, China (AFP) – China said Tuesday at least 156 people were killed when Muslim Uighurs rioted in the restive region of Xinjiang in some of the deadliest ethnic unrest to hit the country in decades.

The violence in the regional capital Urumqi on Sunday involved thousands of people and triggered an enormous security crackdown across Xinjiang, where Uighurs have long complained of repressive Chinese rule.

“People are staying inside, the best thing for you is to go back to your hotel, that will be safe,” a businessman told AFP near Urumqi’s bazaar district, the scene of much of the violence.

In a sign tensions were still running high, state media reported that police had dispersed more than 200 “rioters” on Monday evening as they gathered at the main mosque in Kashgar, a city in western Xinjiang on the ancient Silk Road.

Police believed people were “trying to organise more unrest” in other cities in the vast mountainous and desert region that borders Central Asia, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Xinhua said more than 700 people had been arrested for involvement in Sunday’s riots, which authorities blamed on Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking people who have closer cultural links to regional neighbours than the Han Chinese.

Exiled Uighur groups accused Chinese security forces of over-reacting to peaceful protests and firing indiscriminately on crowds.

The deadly unrest drew attention around the world, with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon leading calls for restraint, a sentiment echoed by Britain and the United States.

“We are deeply concerned over reports of many deaths and injuries from violence in Urumqi in western China,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

“We call on all in Xinjiang to exercise restraint,” Gibbs said in a statement.

Xinjiang communist party official Li Yi said early Tuesday the death toll had risen to 156 — 129 men and 27 women — and 1,080 injured, up from the previous figure of at least 140 dead and 828 injured, Xinhua reported.

“At present, the situation is still seriously complicated, Xinjiang will prevent the situation from spreading to other areas using the most powerful measures and methods, and will safeguard regional stability,” China News Service quoted Nur Bekri, chairman of the Xinjiang region, as saying earlier.

Dramatic footage broadcast of the unrest by the state-run CCTV network showed men turning over a police car and smashing its windows, a woman being kicked as she lay on the ground and buses and other vehicles aflame.

Han Chinese businesspeople told AFP there were around 3,000 Uighur protesters, a figure repeated by exiled Uighur groups.

“The Uighurs attacked motorists with rocks,” said one Han woman who saw the riot unfold from the 11th floor of a local hospital.

“They just attacked the Han people.”

The regional government blamed Rebiya Kadeer, the Uighurs’ leader living in exile in the United States, for orchestrating the unrest.

But Kadeer and other Uighur exiles blamed the Chinese authorities.

“They randomly fired on men and women,” Asgar Can, vice-president of the World Uighur Congress — the main international organisation representing the minority — told AFP in Berlin.

“In addition, the police pooled their vehicles together in certain parts of the city and then began to run demonstrators over,” Can said.

Alim Seytoff, general secretary of the Uighur American Association, told AFP in Washington the Uighurs were protesting over an ethnically charged brawl late last month at a factory in southern China that left two Uighurs dead.

Authorities in Urumqi deployed more than 20,000 police, troop and firefighters to quell the unrest, Xinhua said, quoting a police source.

Riot police and other security forces armed with machine guns and carrying shields were seen in Urumqi on Monday, preventing further protests, according to an AFP reporter here.

Truckloads of German Shepherd police dogs were also brought in and large swathes of the Muslim quarter of the city were sealed off, the reporter said.

Police said a curfew would be put in place from 8:00 pm local time.

Many of Xinjiang’s roughly eight million Uighurs say they suffer political, cultural and religious persecution. Like in Tibet, they also complain about Han Chinese moving into the area in large numbers.

The unrest echoed deadly violence in Buddhist Tibet in March last year when Tibetans stormed through the streets of the region’s capital, Lhasa, attacking Han Chinese in frustration at what they claimed was repressive Chinese rule.

3 Responses to “Muslim Uighurs riot in China, 156 dead, 800 injured”

  1. 迷你倉 said

    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.


  2. China bans mosque prayers in Urumqi:

  3. 迷你倉 said

    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.


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