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July 30, 2009

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253 more suspects detained over riots

POLICE in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, have detained another 253 suspects from the July 5 riots that left 197 people dead.

Most of the newly detained suspects were turned in by local residents of different ethnic groups, police in Urumqi said yesterday.

They are in police custody in addition to the more than 1,000 suspects detained by July 6, the second day of the violence. Police did not say how many of the first group of detainees were released.

Days after the fatal riots, the public security departments of Xinjiang and Urumqi issued notices urging local people to turn in suspects still at large.

"As of July 20, the criminal investigation team of the Urumqi police department has received more than 1,000 pieces of information about suspects from local people," a police statement said.

"Thanks to this information, extremely bad and difficult cases have been cracked, including the one where a family of five was burned to death in their house," the statement said.

Meanwhile, Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei summoned the Japanese Ambassador to China, Yuji Miyamoto, in Beijing yesterday to protest the Japanese government for allowing Rebiya Kadeer, leader of the separatist World Uygur Congress, to visit Japan.

Wu expressed China's strong dissatisfaction and demanded Japan immediately take effective steps to prevent Kadeer from engaging in anti-China separatist activities.

The Japanese government recently granted a visa to Kadeer.

The WUC, led by Kadeer, is believed to have masterminded the July 5 riots.

Kadeer, 62, arrived in Japan on Tuesday from Washington and met a group of Japanese ruling party lawmakers yesterday.

The Chinese Ambassador to Japan, Cui Tiankai, said in Tokyo on Monday that Kadeer's visit may cause trouble for China-Japan relations.

Cui was speaking in a joint interview with Kyodo News and Japanese national broadcaster NHK on the Urumqi riots and Kadeer.

The riot was neither an ethnic nor a religious issue, but was masterminded by the separatist WUC led by Rebiya, said Cui.

"Her tour in Japan is aimed at distorting the facts and advocating her separatist stand," said Cui.


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