URUMQI, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- The "current overwhelming central task" in Xinjiang was to safeguard stability, China's Public Security Minister Meng Jianzhu said Friday.
Meng, also a State Councillor, came to Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, on Friday morning to direct work to defuse unrest in the city, at the request of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the State Council.
"Local government and CPC committees of all levels in Xinjiang should restore social order as soon as possible for the fundamental interests of the public," Meng said.
"Those involved in violence, assaults, vandalism, looting and burning, and those who disrupt social order by different means or undermine ethnic unity, shall be punished according to the law without exception, whatever their ethnicity is," he said.
Tens of thousands of people in Urumqi took to streets on Thursday to protest against syringe attacks, and the city did not quieten down until late in the night.
Urumqi Deputy Mayor Zhang Hong said Friday the situation was basically under control in the city but that five people had been confirmed dead and 14 others injured in the protests Thursday.
Zhang said investigation had showed those involved in the syringe attacks were from the Uygur ethnic group while those attacked included people from Han and other ethnic groups.
Meng said the recent syringe attacks, which were premeditated, masterminded and conducted by law-breakers and instigated by ethnic separatist forces, were a continuation of the July 5 incident in the city.
"They plotted to undermine ethnic unity and stir up ethnic division. Fellow citizens of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang should sharpen their vigilance and not be fooled by law-breakers," he said.
Meng visited hospital patients who had been injured during the protests as well as local residents, police officers and officials. He also visited a Uygur family, and said Han and Uygur people could not be separated from each other.
"Traffic controls imposed in the city on Thursday were aimed at ensuring normal social order. I hope you understand and support us," Meng said while talking with residents in the streets.
The police chief also urged the acceleration of legal proceedings against suspects arrested in the July 5 violence.
"The masterminds should be dug out while murderers must be punished according to the law," he said.
Victims of syringe attacks in Urumqi
rise to 531
Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- Hospitals in Urumqi are treating 531 victims of hypodermic
needle attacks, the local police authorities said Friday.
Statistics from the city's 24 hospitals say 106 of
the 531 were showing obvious signs of needle attacks.
Urumqi imposes rules to ban unlicensed
URUMQI, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- Authorities in Urumqi City have banned unlicensed marches, demonstrations and mass protests, a municipal government spokesman confirmed Friday.
The announcement was publicized by the city government Thursday
night, shortly after tens of thousands of people took to streets during the
daytime to protest against syringe attacks in the city, said the spokesman. Full story
Urumqi protesters confront police
over syringe attacks
URUMQI, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- Urumqi residents confronted
armed police Friday during protests against further hypodermic needle attacks as
uncertainty stalked the streets of the city.
More than 1,000 protesters faced armed police who blocked
them from entering Nanhu Square at about 1:40 p.m.. Full story
Uncertainty stalks Urumqi residents
URUMQI, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- Uncertainty was still stalking the streets of
Urumqi, in western China, Friday despite heavy security and patrolling
helicopters in the sky in the wake of a wave of hypodermic needle stabbings and
Helicopters were seen hovering over the city Friday
morning, the second time here since the July 5 riot that left 197 people dead.
Urumqi quiets down after protest
against syringe attacks
Li Zhi (1st R, on the car), secretary of
the Communist Party of China Urumqi City Committee, speaks to crowds in
Urumqi, capital city of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Sep. 3, 2009.
Crowds gathered at a number of sites in Urumqi Thursday morning demanding
security guarantees from authorities following hypodermic syringe attacks
in the capital city of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Tension was
relieved after the communication of local officials with the crowd.
URUMQI, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- The city of Urumqi,
capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, quieted down late
Thursday night after tens of thousands of people took to streets to protest
against syringe attacks.
There were few pedestrians on the Youhao, Karamay,
Altay and Beijing Roads. Police were persuading about 100 people to leave the
Nanhu Square in front of the municipal government. Full story
Tens of thousands of protesters demand
security guarantees in Urumqi after hypodermic syringe attacks
Wang Lequan (1st R), secretary of the
Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Committee of the Communist Party of
China, speaks to crowds in Urumqi, capital city of Xinjiang Uygur
Autonomous Region, Sep. 3, 2009. (Xinhua/Zhao Ge)
URUMQI, Sept.3 (Xinhua) -- Crowds gathered at a
number of sites in downtown Urumqi Thursday to protest against hypodermic
syringe attacks in the capital city of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and
demanded security guarantees from authorities.
The protest, attended by tens of thousands of people,
crippled city traffic and forced shops in major commercial streets to shut. Full story