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15 detained over group fight that triggered Xinjiang riot

POLICE have detained 15 suspects in connection with a south China factory fight, which is said to have spurred the deadly riot in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Sunday.

Thirteen men, including three natives of Xinjiang, were detained for participating in the massive fight between workers at a toy factory on June 26 in Shaoguan City, Guangdong Province, Liu Guoqiang, deputy director with the Public Security Bureau of Shaoguan, said today.

The other two men were arrested for spreading rumors on the Web that Xinjiang employees had raped two female workers, according to Liu.

The majority of the detained were Guangdong natives.

More than 400 police officers are still searching for more suspects.

Government officials say the factory fight was used as an excuse for the riot in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang, that killed at least 156 people and injured more than 1,000 others.

A Xinjiang official said today that excessive labor forces in the region will continue to seek jobs in Guangdong as usual, stressing that a single event like the factory brawl will not affect the region's overall labor policy.

"In addition to Shaoguan, many coastal cities have also offered job opportunities to Xinjiang migrant workers and the working and living environment there has been stable and normal," said Abdukeyum Muhammat, deputy secretary of Xinjiang kanji Prefectural Committee of the Communist Party of China.

The Xinjiang official, leading a working team, arrived in Shaoguan on June 27 following the factory fight.

"I'm satisfied with the handling of the event by Guangdong authorities and so are the Xinjiang employees," he said.

"We will work with the Shaoguan authorities closely to ensure a stable working and living environment for Xinjiang employees," said Muhammat.


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