Uighurs shot dead by Chinese police
Three men armed with knives attacked police in the city of Urumqi, state media says.
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2009 12:47 GMT
Uighurs began rioting against Han Chinese in Urumqi on July 5 after police tried to break up a protest [AFP]

Chinese police have shot dead two ethnic Uighur men in renewed unrest in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, state media said.

A third Uighur was wounded after the "lawbreakers" attacked officers who were breaking up "a violent incident" in the regional capital, Urumqi, a government offical said on Monday.

"The police fired into the air as a warning, but that did not stop the attack. The police then shot them according to law," the official, who only gave his name as  Fan, said.

The official Xinhua news agency said that the police responded after three Uighurs, who were reportedly armed with knives, attacked a fourth person outside a mosque.

Urumqi riots

At least 184 people died in riots last week, of which 137 were Han Chinese, who form the majority of China's 1.3 billion population, according to Chinese authorities.

In depth

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Xinhua said 46 of the dead were Uighur, a predominantly Muslim people native to Xinjiang and culturally tied to Central Asia and Turkey.

Uighurs began rioting against Han Chinese on July 5 after police tried to break up a protest sparked by fatal attacks on Uighur workers at a factory in southern China.

Han Chinese residents of the city launched revenge attacks in the days that followed.

State media said earlier on Monday that demonstrations outside Chinese consulates in Europe and the United States showed that the riots were orchestrated by Uighurs living outside China.

Demonstrators threw eggs, Molotov cocktails and stones at several Chinese embassies and consulates, including those in Turkey, Norway, Germany and The Netherlands, Xinhua news agency said.

"Supporters of the East Turkestan separatists started well-orchestrated and sometimes violent attacks on Chinese embassies and consulates in several countries soon after the riots occurred," Xinhua said.

China has blamed Rebiya Kadeer, an exiled Uighur businesswoman, for instigating the unrest.

'Under control'

Businesses in Urumqi have been reopening after the riots as a massive security presence has brought relative calm to the streets in recent days.

"In general, things are slowly getting back to normal. I think the situation is getting better and under control," one Han resident said.

However, Xinhua said that police would take in for questioning anyone who could not produce an indentity card or driving licence in the province.

People were also banned from "shouting slogans, posting banners, distributing leaflets or gathering for lectures in city streets or public venues", the report cited a police notice as saying.

"Police will immediately disperse gatherings and confiscate the propaganda materials and take away key members for interrogation according to law," Xinhua said.

Al Jazeera and agencies
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