China raises death toll to 184 in ethnic riots

July 11, 2009 10:31


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China on Saturday raised the death toll from riots in its Xinjiang region to 184, state media said, giving the first ethnic breakdown of the dead nearly a week after communal violence broke out in this far western city. According to the regional government, 137 victims were of the dominant Han ethnic group, 46 were Turkic Uighurs, and one was Hui Muslim, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Some Uighurs privately challenged those numbers Saturday after persistent rumors that security forces fired on Uighurs during their original protest and in following days. Meanwhile, in the city of Urumqi on Saturday, 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.

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