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Healing trauma of the 'night of blood'

RECALLING Sunday's riots, Duolukun Maimaitiming, a Uygur doctor at the People's Hospital in Urumqi, was agitated, and his hands began to quiver.

"The hospital was flooded with patients drenched in blood that night," he said. "It was horrible."

Without knowing what started the violence, Duolukun joined his colleagues in treating patients in the emergency room.

"I saw only patients," he said. "There was no ethnic difference in my eyes. My duty is to save lives."

More than 300 people - Han Chinese and members of the Uygur ethnic group - who were injured in the violence in the capital of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region have received medical treatment at the hospital where Duolukun works.

"Patients kept coming into the hospital," Zhou Caixia, a head nurse, said yesterday. "Doctors and nurses have been living in the hospital treating the patients over the past four days."

The nurse said she had to remain strong, yet she treated every patient with kindness.

"We have to make sure that we are emotionally stable before we can help others," she said.

"I can feel the warmth," said Asiya, a 40-year-old Uygur woman who helped save more than a dozen Han people by showing them the way to safety before a rioter broke her left hand with an iron rod.

"The doctors and nurses in the hospital have been taking good care of us," she said. "They treated us like their own family."

Asiya's appreciation of the doctors and nurses was shared by Liu Hongtao, 32, a Han who suffered four stab wounds. "They saved my life and their caring healed my trauma," he said.

Duolukun noted that "those who started the violence are small in number. Most people in Xinjiang are friendly."


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