Monday, July 06, 2009

At Least 140 Dead in Clashes in China's Xinjiang Province

Follow the link for video. At Least 140 Dead in Clashes in China's Xinjiang Province - Yahoo! News: Chinese authorities announced today that some 140 people had been killed and over 800 wounded in protests that roiled Urumqi, the capital of China's far western Xinjiang province, on Sunday. According to the official news agency Xinhua, Urumqi police chief Liu Yaohua told a press conference that the number of dead was still rising and that there had also been extensive damage to property. The enormous loss of life marked a bloody milestone in Beijing's administration of the troubled zone, in which Muslim Uighurs make up the majority of the population. It also presages a severe tightening of the already vise-like grip the authorities maintain on the semiautonomous region, one that could be even harsher than the crackdown that followed the violent suppression of protests in the Tibetan capital Lhasa in March of 2008. Officials said that several hundred protesters had already been arrested and some 90 more were still being sought on Monday afternoon. "I fear for what is to come," said Nicholas Bequelin, a China researcher for New York-based Human Rights Watch. "China has a very poor record of accountability when it comes to those arrested for protesting. In Tibet, for example, there are still hundreds unaccounted for by the government's own admission."

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