|China unrest: Appeal for help
Beijing - Three more people were killed and more than 20
injured after Han Chinese residents attacked Uighurs in
China's far western city of Urumqi, a Uighur exile group
reported on Monday as it appealed for UN observers to
investigate the ethnic conflict there.
The latest attack by about 100 "Chinese migrants" came
late on Sunday in a Uighur area near Urumqi's Xingfu
Road and Jiefang South Road, the Munich-based World
Uighur Congress said in a statement.
The group said two Uighur men and a 40-year-old woman
died in the attack, but the report could not immediately
State media reported no new attacks on Sunday in Urumqi,
where migration has made Han Chinese the dominant ethnic
group in the capital of China's vast Xinjiang region.
"We are extremely worried about the current situation in
Urumqi," Dilxat Raxit, the spokesperson for the World
Uighur Congress, said in the statement.
"Now it is very difficult for Uighurs and Han to
continue living in the same city," Raxit said.
"For the safety of both sides and to avoid the continued
suppression of Uighurs by China's paramilitary
personnel, I appeal for the United Nations to send
observers immediately," he said.
He also appealed for China's ruling Communist Party to
hold talks with exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer, who
is accused by China of organising rioting on July 5
that, according to government tallies, left 197 people
dead and about 1 600 injured.
Kadeer denied the charges and has claimed that up to 800
people died in Urumqi in early July, many of them
Uighurs shot or beaten to death by police.
Uighurs have long said they face discrimination at the
hands of China's Han majority.
Security remained tight in Urumqi on Sunday, one day
after several top government officials were dismissed
over the continuing unrest in the city.
Five people died after tens of thousands of
demonstrators took to the streets on Thursday and
Friday, criticising local city and regional leaders for
failing to ensure security in Urumqi.
The city's Communist Party secretary, Li Zhi, was
removed from his post on Saturday along with Xinjiang's
police chief, Liu Yaohua, the official Xinhua news
Although the Han are China's dominant ethnic group, in
Xinjiang, the Uighurs are the largest, but the balance
is tipping as Han move to the region. In Urumqi, they
now outnumber the Uighurs.
The latest unrest there was touched off by reports of
attacks by Uighurs using hypodermic syringes, the first
of which surfaced in mid-August.
The regional government said city hospitals had dealt
with 531 victims of needle stabbings, most of them Han
Chinese, with 106 people showing "obvious signs" of
According to an unconfirmed report by a Han resident of
Urumqi, a mob of Han passengers beat to death one Uighur
who was discovered with a needle and syringe on a public
The government's official Xinhua news agency said police
had detained 25 people suspected of involvement in the
"Four suspects, three men and one woman, have been
prosecuted for endangering public security," Wutkur
Abdurahman, the city's procurator general, was quoted as
Two suspects threatened and robbed a taxi driver using a
syringe, another stabbed a woman at a roadside fruit
stall and a police officer was stabbed with a
drug-filled needle while dealing with a man who was
resisting arrest, Xinhua reported.
Meanwhile, more than 2 000 officials and police officers
have been sent to Uighur and Han communities in Urumqi
to "help solve public disputes", Xinjiang's regional
Communist Party leader Wang Lequan was quoted as saying