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August 2009
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Conflict & Crisis

Uighurs in Urumqi
Urumqi, China: China raised the death toll from riots in its Xinjiang region to 184, state media said last month, giving an ethnic breakdown of the dead for the first time after communal violence broke out in this far western city.

The official Xinhua News Agency said 137 of the victims belonged to the dominant Han ethnic group. The rest included 45 men and one woman who were Uighurs, and one man of the Hui Muslim ethnic group, the report said.

The previous death toll was 156. Xinhua gave no details on the newly reported deaths, including whether any were from the day, 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.

Nearly a week after the rioting began, 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 encour-aging 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 business-woman who lives in exile in the U.S., whom China says instigated the riots. She has denied it.

Caption for Photo:
Uighur woman with a child walks past paramilitary police on patrol near mosques in Urumqi, western China's Xinjiang province on Friday, July 10, 2009. Boisterous crowds turned up at mosques in this riot-hit western China city despite announcements that Friday prayers were canceled due to the recent ethnic violence and forced officials to let them in. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)