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Public says longer presence of armed police needed in Urumqi after riot

A week after the riot in Urumqi that killed 184 people, the public said they need a longer visible presence of the armed police on streets for safety concerns.

Ablet, an employee of a grill shop, said he welcomed the armed police to safeguard the order. "As long as they are on streets, I don't think there will be trouble," he said.

Shops near the police sentries opened earlier than those further away as the visible presence of the police was associated with more security. Vegetable peddlers also chose to set their stands near the sentries.

The police continued to patrol major streets today, though in smaller groups and less frequently than earlier this week. Bannerson police vehicles read "Safeguard stability and oppose separation". "All the ethnic groups are one family. Soldiers and the public are inseparable as fish and water."

"We move in groups of company or battalion to face down the separatists," said Hu Xiaochun, an officer of Xinjiang corps of the armed police.

"I want them to stay in streets and schools for a longer time," said Reyman, a student of Xinjiang Medical University. "Then I won't worry when I walk outside."

The No. 11 Middle School, which was near the site of the riot, opened their doors to police who stood guard day and night.

Yan Ming, vice headmaster of the school said "Wherever the armed police are, we feel safe to dare to go there."

Yan organized teachers to put all the cushions they could collect in the classrooms and filled every pot with water so that the police could rest after patrolling.

"Imam of the North Mosque at the juncture of Xinhuananlu Road and Renmin Road invited us to stay in the mosque," said officer Zhang Yangjun. "We have orders not to interrupt the public life, so we cannot enter the mosque. But we are really moved."

Officer Lu Ming did not have time to take care of his pregnant wife in Urumqi. "The citizens, Han or Uygur, brought water and fruit to us to express their gratitude and respect. Their understanding and support encourage us to stay on duty," he said.

"As long as we are on duty here, my family is safe," he said.


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