Uighurs riot in China (updated)


In what experts are saying is the most serious outbreak of violence in China in decades, the government is saying that 140 people were killed in riots in China's northwestern Xinjiang region where the Turkic speaking Uighur minority has been agitating for minority rights.

Gordon Fairclough and Jason Dean of the Wall Street Journal have the details:

Uighur activists said hundreds of Uighurs, many of them students, had gathered Sunday to protest racial discrimination and call for government action against the perpetrators of an attack last month on Uighur migrant workers at a toy factory in southern China. In that incident, a group of Han Chinese broke into a factory dormitory housing Uighur workers. State media reported that two people were killed. Uighur groups say the death toll may have been higher.

The protests appear to have spun out of control late Sunday, with clashes between protestors and police as well as ethnic violence around the city. Xinhua's report Monday said that 57 dead bodies had been "retrieved from Urumqi's streets and lanes," while the remaining fatalities were confirmed dead at hospitals.

An official in the nursing department of one of Urumqi's largest hospitals, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region People's Hospital, said the hospital received 291 people injured in the unrest. Seventeen of them died, and more than 20 others were in critical condition on Monday night.

The official said that 233 of the injured were Han Chinese, 39 were Uighurs and the rest belonged to other ethnic minority groups. Seven of the injured had gunshot wounds, she said.

Uighurs have long complained about restrictions on their civil liberties and religious practices imposed by a Chinese government fearful of political dissent in strategically important Xinjiang, which covers one-sixth of China's territory and is also an important oil-and-gas-producing region.

Is it any wonder China refuses to take back the Uighurs we have had in custody in Guantanamo prison for being trained at al-Qaeda terrorist camps?

Update - Clarice Feldman writes:

Tiger likes Rooster, an American living in Asia has posted pics of the Uyghur revolt.

Three samples: