View Full Version : Riot police in brawl with Uighur Muslims in South China

09-11-04, 04:34
Riot police in brawl with Uighur Muslims in south China
BEIJING, Nov 9 (AFP) - Gun-toting riot police clashed with around 70 Uighur Muslims in southern China, leaving several people injured and at least two security guards in hospital, local officials said Tuesday.
The incident was sparked by security guards moving on a Uighur illegally hawking fried mutton from his stall in the Baiyun district of Guangzhou city, Guangdong province Saturday.
According to the Information Times, the man left but soon returned with a mob of 70 people carrying knives and steel pipes who attacked the guards.
"Those 70 people who beat three security guards are from Xinjiang region, they're Uighurs," an officer at Kuangquan police station told AFP, describing the clash as "messy".
"There are many Uighurs in this area who steal and are engaged in other criminal activities," he said.
"We are still investigating this case, no one got seriously injured. Some were lightly injured including onlookers and two of the security guards are in hospital."
China's Uighurs, who mostly live in far western Xinjiang region, are Muslims of Turkic descent.
Rights groups claim China has been using the crackdown on global terror as an excuse to justify repression of its Uighur minority, some of whom are seeking to re-establish an independent East Turkestan in Central Asia.
The police officer said several hundred onlookers gathered to watch the fight and 70 riot police carrying machine guns were brought in to restore order.
The Information Times said 30 people were arrested by the police officer denied this, adding that it was a sensitive case as it involved ethnic minorities.
"So far, no one has been detained or arrested," he said.
"This case will be handled by the leaders because it involved minorities. If cases involve minorities, usually they are complicated. Normally we handle these cases with caution."
China has been rocked by a series of recent riots and ethnic tension.
Thousands of police were dispatched to quell clashes in central Henan province last month between Hui Muslims and Han Chinese, apparently stemming from a traffic incident.
At least seven people died in the ensuing violence -- some of the worst ethnic confrontations in years.
Also, thousands of police clashed in Sichuan province with up to 40,000 protesters demonstrating against a hydroelectric project that aims to relocate 100,000 farmers to an uncertain future.