New round of riots brings fresh violence to Xinjiang

By Qiu Yongzheng in Urumqi Source:Global Times Published: 2013-6-29 1:58:02

A riot occurred at noon Friday in Hotan, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, with over 100 terrorists attacking a number of people with weapons after gathering at local religious venues. The casualties are still being counted. Later Friday local government website confirmed the riot in Hotan.

The terrorists, riding on motorcycles, used knives as weapons and attacked a local police station in the city's Moyu county, witnesses said. Local police quickly got the situation under control and are still searching for other suspects.

That afternoon, some 200 unidentified people also attempted to incite trouble at a major shopping area in another part of the city. The situation was diffused quickly by local police with no casualties.

An insider from the local authorities said that "terrorist attacks have recently shifted focus from important spots to ordinary places."

Police checked vehicles and passenger IDs on the highways from Turpan to Urumqi, the regional capital. At large public venues, government buildings and police sites in Urumqi, the numbers of guards were increased.

There were few pedestrians in Urumqi Friday afternoon. But some residents carried on with their routine activities, walking and dancing in the public square.

"We can't stop our daily lives due to fear. Otherwise, we are doing what the terrorists want," 56-year-old Liu Ping told the Global Times.

"We firmly support the government in being tough on terrorists. If attacks like this happened in the US, their government would also crack down," Fang Ji, a 32-year-old man who witnessed the riots in Urumqi in 2009, told the Global Times.

The attacks came just two days after 24 people were killed by rioters in Xinjiang's Shanshan county.

The US said it is closely following the attack in Shanshan and urged China to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation and to provide due process and legal protection to those who have been detained.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying responded Friday by saying that China hopes the US will avoid using a double standard when discussing terrorism.

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