Monday, August 3, 2009

China Detains 319 More in Uighur Unrest

By VOA News

China says it has detained another 319 people in connection with last month's deadly ethnic violence in the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region of northwestern China.

The state-run Xinhua news agency reported Sunday that the suspects were detained in the regional capital, Urumqi, and other parts of Xinjiang based on information from the public and a police investigation.

It did not specify the charges facing the 319 people, or the more than 1,000 others detained after the July 5 riots.

Nearly 200 people died in clashes between Xinjiang's ethnic Uighurs, Chinese security forces and majority Han civilians.

Beijing blamed the violence on outside forces stirring up separatist sentiments among the mostly Muslim Uighur minority.

But Uighurs blame the police for provoking the violence, which they say was partly a response to what they feel is China's repressive policies.

The leader of an extremist group called the Turkistan Islamic Party is urging Muslims worldwide to attack Chinese interests in retaliation for what he calls the oppression of the Uighurs.

An audio message posted on the Internet Sunday in the name of Abdul Haq al-Turkistani calls for attacks on Chinese embassies, consulates and people inside and outside of the country.

His group, which refers to Xinjiang as East Turkistan, has been blamed for violence in the past.

02 August 2009

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