Sun, Jul 12, 2009 - Page 5 News List

Official death toll from Xinjiang riots raised to 184

AP , URUMQI, CHINA

China raised the death toll from riots in its Xinjiang region to 184, state media said yesterday, giving the first ethnic breakdown of the dead nearly a week after communal violence broke out in this far western city.

The Xinhua news agency said 137 of the victims belonged to the dominant Han ethnic group, 111 of them men. The rest included 45 men and one woman who were Uighurs, and one man of the Hui Muslim ethnic group, the report said, citing the information office of the regional government.

The previous death toll was 156. Xinhua gave no details on the newly reported deaths, including whether any were from Tuesday, when Han men seeking revenge for the original Uighur-led protest that turned violent marched through the streets with clubs and cleavers, trying to push past police guarding minority neighborhoods.

Yesterday, paramilitary police carrying automatic weapons and riot shields blocked some roads leading to the largely Muslim Uighur district of the city, and groups of 30 marched along the road chanting slogans encouraging ethnic unity.

Some shops were still closed, and a police van blared public announcements in the Uighur language urging residents to oppose activist Rebiya Kadeer, a 62-year-old Uighur businesswoman who lives in exile in the US, whom China says instigated the riots. She has denied it.

In an interview with AP Television News on Friday, Kadeer said China’s death tolls at the time greatly understated the number of Uighurs killed.

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