140 Dead in China Muslim Riots

1,000 said to have protested Beijing's handling of Uighur/Chinese incident
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2009 2:27 AM CDT
Injured women comfort each other on a street in Urumqi, capital of China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.   (AP Photo/CCTV via APTN)
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(Newser) – At least 140 people have been killed and 800 injured in clashes between rioters and police in China’s restive oil-rich Xinjiang region, reports the BBC. The clashes are the deadliest outbreak of violence in China in several years. The violence began after more than 1000 protesters—primarily Uighur Muslims—marched in the city of Urumqi to demand an inquiry into a fatal fight between Uighurs and Han Chinese at a southern Chinese factory last month.

The government blamed Uighur attacks on the majority Han Chinese, and said the violence was being orchestrated by Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer, a businesswoman who is living in the US. Some 8 million Uighurs live in Xinjiang, with many pressing to break away from China.