state media say the government in the western region of Xinjiang has declared a
curfew following ethnic unrest that has paralyzed the main city of
China's top official in Urumqi, Communist party leader Li Zhi,
said Tuesday authorities also are blocking Internet and mobile phone service in
parts of the city in order to prevent further unrest.
ministry spokesman Qin Gang said "foreign forces" are using those services to
Both officials specifically blamed U.S.-based Uighur
exile Rebiya Kadeer for masterminding Sunday's rioting that left at least 156
In further unrest Tuesday, Muslim Uighurs and Han Chinese
faced off with riot police in separate incidents.
confronted about hundreds of mostly female Uighur protesters, who said members
of their families had been arbitrarily arrested, after Sunday's riots.
Later in the day, riot police fired tear gas to disperse thousands of
Han Chinese protesters who took to the streets armed with makeshift weapons,
including clubs, shovels and knives.
The crowd smashed shops and food
stands operated by Uighurs. Communist Party chief Li Zhi arrived on the scene,
where he condemned Rebiya Kadeer in a speech to the crowd.
also reports that Uighur protests were held in the city of Kashgar, near
Xinjiang's border with Pakistan.
The United Nations' High Commissioner
for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, urged Chinese authorities and ethnic groups in
Xinjiang to refrain from further violence.
Tensions between Han and
Uighurs came to a head last month, after a false rumor spread throughout a toy
factory in Guangdong that Uighur workers raped two Chinese girls. A huge fight
broke out, and two people were killed.
The official Xinhua news agency
said Tuesday that police have arrested 15 people in connection with the
racially-charged brawl, including two suspected of spreading rumors on the
State-run media said police have arrested 1,434 suspects in the
deadly ethnic clashes, which injured more than 1,000 people on Sunday.
As with last year's protests in neighboring Tibet, Chinese state media
coverage has focused on ethnic Han victims.
Uighur groups say the
violence is a result of pent-up frustration with what the mainly Muslim Uighurs
say is excessive control over their lives by Han Chinese - China's majority
Uighur dissident Wu'er Kaixi, who was one of the student
leaders of the 1989 Tiananmen Square demonstrations, told reporters Tuesday that
Uighurs face widespread suppression and discrimination in
Some information for this report was
provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.