URUMQI, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Nearly two weeks after
the July 5 riot in Urumqi of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region,
social order and people's lives are returning to normal. Yet in retrospect, a
mass of evidences show that the unrest was a well-planned violent criminal
incident of terrorist nature.
Investigations by reporters reveal a salient feature
of the riot, that is the perpetrators adopted the tactic of mass rally and
making trouble in the open, which attracted people's attention and police force,
while committing beating, smashing, robbery and arsons in other places.
At about 6:00 p.m. July 5, some persons gathered in
the People's Square, continuously making phone calls and sending text messages.
Some people were shouting slogans to attract passersby. The crowd grew larger
According to the local police department, about 1,500
policemen were sent to the place to maintain order and disperse the crowd.
At about 8:00 p.m., the police were told that a group
of thugs were beating innocent people, smashing cars and buses, and burning
police cars at Er Dao Qiao in a southern area of the city.
Xinhua reporters at the area spotted the body of a
victim under a bridge, people fleeing in all directions, shops closing, mobsters
smashing and setting fire as they walked along, more and more shops, automobiles
and public facilities got destroyed and people got hurt.
At the same time, people gathered in the People's
Square began to walk to the south.
According to two officials from the local committee
of ethnics and religions who walked after these people, at the Longquan Street
intersection, someone jumped out of the crowd and began to instigate people to
join and follow them. The Longquan Street is a major passage leading to the Er
Dao Qiao area.
At about 8:40 p.m., the crowd reached the Tianchi
Road - close to the Er Dao Qiao area -- and were joined by about 200 people with
The two officials said that as fewer than 20
policemen lined up across the street to stop the crowd, someone in the crowd
commanded the crowd to dash through the police line. A policeman was beat down
and the crowd continued to move south with more violent behaviors.
According to the policemen who were at the scene, the
crowd walked as long as several kilometers and more people joined in when the
violent situation was worsening.
SUDDEN ERUPTION ALL
According to the local public security department, at
about 9:00 p.m., the department received reports that thugs were making violence
in more than 50 places in the city, attacking passersby, cars, shops, resident
buildings, police and government offices.
The city's first aid center said they received
numerous SOS calls starting from 8:23 p.m., resulting in the breakdown of the
telephone switching system.
According to the center, from the night of July 5 to
the next morning, it sent out ambulances for 737 times to give medical support
to about 900 injured people.
A young woman told Xinhua that she was in a bus when
the thugs started the violence. "There were also thugs in the bus. It was like
they colluded over the whole thing and just waited in the bus for the time to
The girl said that she was beat "powerfully" in the
head while trying to get off the bus after the driver opened the door. She was
later sent to hospital for treatment.
"If there were no plan or organizing in advance, how
could so many people appear in more than 50 places at the same time with the
same violent behaviors?" an expert on public security told Xinhua.
BEFOREHAND, DIVISION OF TASKS CLEAR
According to the security department, these misdoers
were mostly from outside Urumqi, and several leaders among them wore similar
The weapons used during the riot were mostly stones,
bricks, wood and iron clubs, as well as some knives and guns. Some businessmen
in the city told reporters that knives became hot selling products two or three
days before the unrest.
The department said that two tickets were found in a
captured suspect. One was a used ticket from south Xinjiang to Urumqi on July 4,
the other was a return ticket on July 6.
Information revealed by a principal from a company at
the Tianchi Road showed that, at about 8:40 p.m., a woman in a black robe ran to
a man with about 30 thugs following. The man gave her several clubs and she gave
out the clubs to the followers.
The principal said the stones and bricks used by
these people were not from the Tianchi Road as the bricks on the road were not
damaged. "There were also some stones which looked like to be from some building
sites. It was like they had prepared them beforehand."
According to witnesses, the misdoers' wood clubs were
actually used to support the small trees along the Tianchi road. Each one of
them was about 1.2 meters long, with a diameter of 5 to 10 cm.
Local residents told reporters that about 60 small
trees were planted along the road just in June. They thought the thugs chose
here because of the "ready-made" weapons. Also, the residents said there were
many alleys and lanes along the road, making it hard to chase the thugs.
Witnesses from other places also claimed that the
stones used during the riot were never seen in the city.
Businessmen from the area of the city's
woman-children health care center told reporters that they saw people dropped
stones from upstairs on passersby and cars along the road. "The stones must be
carried upstairs beforehand... How come there were so many stones in the
buildings?" One of them said.
Many witnesses' accounts coincide with the records of
monitor cameras in which young women repeatedly appeared in black, white or
brown robes and black hoods and young men in blue T-shirts.
In interviews, reporters found the main attacking
method during the unrest was to hit people in the head with wood clubs and
According to several local hospitals which received
injured people during the riot, most of the patients had serious head injuries,
and those who died were also due to head injuries.
Photos from the local police also showed that many
victims were lying beside scattered stones and bricks -- some were as large as a
Transportation facilities were also one of the main
Sources with the Urumqi Bus Group told Xinhua that a
total of 28 buses were burned and 266 got smashed. The damaged vehicles
accounted for one tenth of the company's total.
A worker from a bus station which was attacked
recalled that some misdoers had set up road-blocks in several main streets and
they were "very good at driving" and familiar with the structure of vehicles.
Sources with the Urumqi Bus Group said at about 9:30
p.m., a group of thugs rushed into the company's yard and took out the
electrical wires from the circuit board and started the vehicles. They drove the
vehicles to crash the telegraph pole to which a monitor camera was attached.
Witnesses also said that many burned gas-fired
vehicles were first ignited from the rear end of the buses where the gas tank
Many company workers were shocked that the misdoers
knew so much about their vehicles and said some of the knowledge could only be
acquired through professional trainings.
They recalled that in the last two years, some young
men were practicing to drive vehicles every night in the area around the bus
station. Many workers on night shift heard the noises of engines and screeching
AIM AT GOVERNMENT
During the riot, one policeman was killed and tens
were injuredwhen they tried to prevent mobsters from storming into government
The buildings of the Xinjiang regional committee of
the Communist Party of China, public security department, fire department and
media organizations were all attacked, indicating that the July 5 riot was not a
simple violent incident, according to the local public security department.
At about 6:00 p.m., reporters saw a crowd gathered in
front of the gate of the party committee and tried to dash to the yard. The
police stopped them.
At about 8:00 p.m., over one hundred thugs attacked a
police station at the Longquan Road. Sources with the station said that the
crowd kept confronting the police for some 20 minutes and finally scattered when
the policemen took out their guns.
At 11:20 p.m. about forty to fifty misdoers attacked
the Xinjiang People's Broadcasting Station and the Xinjiang Television Station.
An official with the Xinjiang Radio & Television Bureau said the attackers
left after policemen shoot guns into the air.
Analysts said that mob usually wouldn't attack
organizations such as party committee, public security department and media if
they were not organized or instigated.
Analysts said their conspiracy was far beyond an ordinary violent matter.
Official says 12 mobsters in riot shot dead, Xinjiang confident of revival
URUMQI, July 19 (Xinhua) -- A senior official of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region said here Saturday Xinjiang has the confidence to erase the negative impacts of the July 5 riot "in the shortest time" in an interview with overseas reporters.
Nur Bekri, chairman of the regional government, also said in the interview that on the night of July 5, policemen in the regional capital Urumqi "resolutely" shot 12 mobsters after firing guns into the air had no effects on these "extremely vicious" thugs. Full story
Xinjiang seeks to ensure farm produce sales after riots
URUMQI, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Authorities in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous region are seeking to promote sales of local farm produce in the wake of the deadly riots in the regional capital Urumqi on July 5.
Qian Zhi, vice chairman of the regional government, Saturday urged using multiple ways to sell agricultural products. Full story
Many countries say Xinjiang riot China's internal affair
BEIJING, July 17 (Xinhua) -- Many countries around the world said the July 5 riot in northwest China is an internal affair of the country, and the Chinese government is handling the incident properly.
A spokesman for the Belarusian Foreign Ministry, Andrei Popov, said Xinjiang is an inalienable part of China, and the unrest is a purely internal matter of China. Full story
Special Report: Urumqi Riot