China Locks Down Xinjiang as Fresh Protests Erupt

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2009 2:57 AM CDT
Chinese paramilitary police close off the roads to a hospital in Urumqi where some of the 1,000 people injured in the riots were sent.   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
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(Newser) – China has clamped down hard on Xinjiang province after at least 156 people died in riots in Urumqi Sunday night, the New York Times reports. More than 1000 people have been detained and 20,000 security forces deployed in the capital. Cell phone and Internet services have been cut off and the government has moved to block online discussion of the riots.

Uighur demonstrators marched in Urumqi today demanding the release of men they said had been seized from their homes by security forces. They disrupted a government-run tour of the scene of the riots for foreign journalists before being surrounded by police. Hundreds of Uighur protesters gathered in front of a mosque in the city Kashgar west of the province yesterday, but dispersed as police began making arrests.