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World Briefing / China

Details on riot victims

July 12, 2009|TIMES WIRE REPORTS

China released a breakdown of the death toll from communal rioting, saying most of the 184 killed were Han, the majority Chinese ethnic group -- an announcement that only fueled suspicion among Turkic Muslim Uighurs that the toll is distorted.

The New China News Agency said 137 victims of the violence in the western Xinjiang region were Han, 46 were Uighurs and one was a Hui, another Muslim group.

Uighurs on the streets of the Xinjiang regional capital, Urumqi, and exiled activists disputed the figures, saying many more Uighurs died. They cited persistent rumors that security forces fired on Uighurs during the July 5 protest and on subsequent days.

Dispelling such suspicions has become another challenge for the government as it tries to calm the troubled region and win over critics in the international community.

Turkey, whose people share an ethnic and cultural bond with the Uighurs, has been particularly critical of the crackdown.

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