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World Briefing / China

Dozens held after riots still missing

October 21, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Three months after deadly ethnic rioting in China's far west, dozens of men from the Uighur ethnic group remain unaccounted for after being detained in police sweeps, a human rights group said.

New York-based Human Rights Watch said the 43 missing men and teenagers were among hundreds rounded up by security forces in the days and weeks after the July 5 riots in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang region, and their families have been unable to find out where or why they are being held.

The rioting left nearly 200 people dead, as the mainly Muslim Uighurs attacked people from the Han Chinese majority.

It was the deadliest communal violence in at least a decade in Xinjiang, the oil-rich region that abuts Pakistan and Central Asia.

In its wake, the Chinese government has smothered Urumqi, and much of Xinjiang, with security but has failed to restore calm or ease ethnic tensions.

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