10 killed in ethnic clash in western China
February 10, 1997
Web posted at: 11:30 a.m. EST (1630 GMT)
BEIJING (CNN) -- In the wake of deadly anti-Chinese riots,
authorities have imposed a curfew on a town in far western
Xinjiang province, police and residents said Monday.
"A circular has been issued and broadcast on television
ordering people not to go out after dark," said one local
resident. "We don't go out after sunset. There is curfew
At least 10 people were reportedly killed and dozens wounded
when about 1,000 Muslim separatists of the Uighur ethnic
minority rampaged through Yining last Wednesday, smashing
cars, burning shops and beating up Han Chinese to protest
The riot erupted after a Chinese policeman tried to arrest a
Uighur (pronounced wee-ger), according to one Chinese source
with close ties to the government.
"The scene attracted neighbors and onlookers and the crowd
swelled to more than 1,000 and turned into rioting," he said.
Rioters attacked ethnic Han Chinese on sight, smashed cars
and set fire to shops, forcing local authorities to send out
about 1,000 police and paramilitary police to
quell the violence, according to a Han businessman.
Security forces arrested 400 to 500 people, according to a
police officer who refused to give his name. Some of those
arrested were later released.
Local officials described the riot as a small incident fueled
by unidentified "foreign hostile forces," but the police
officer said it was the worst rioting in Xinjiang since the
1949 Communist takeover.
Ethnic clashes are not unusual in Xinjiang, where Muslims are
the majority and the ruling Han Chinese make up only 38
percent of the population.
Yining is about 440 miles (700 km) northwest of the Xinjiang
Reuters contributed to this report.
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