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September 9, 2009

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Xinjiang beefs up chem controls

BUYERS of dangerous chemical products in Xinjiang will now be required to register with their identification documents, a measure that the government said was aimed at maintaining safety.

The order was made public after Urumqi imposed overnight traffic control on Monday in the wake of the syringe attacks that triggered public anxiety and mass protests, leaving five people dead.

Companies and individuals must provide business licenses or identification cards when purchasing any kind of chemical products, the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region's government said.

In addition, certificates issued by public security administrations are needed to buy toxic chemicals, according to rules issued jointly by the region's Work Safety Supervision Administration, Public Security Administration and its Industrial and Commercial Bureau.

Only licensed vendors are allowed to sell chemical products, and they must keep detailed records, including information on the proposed use of the products.

The key chemical products were not itemized.

The notice was implemented five days after Xinjiang's Food and Drug Supervision Administration issued a provisional regulation to reinforce supervision over the use of special drugs last Thursday when massive protests broke out across Urumqi against a series of needle stabbings that authorities blamed on some Uygurs intent on fomenting unrest.

The regulation stipulated a wider range of monitoring measures on the production, purchase and sale of special drugs at hospitals, scientific and research institutions and educational organizations.

Meanwhile, another four suspects allegedly involved in the syringe attacks were sent for prosecution on Monday, authorities said yesterday.

With the help of three accomplices, Abdurusul Abdukdale stabbed a woman in the neck with a syringe last Thursday in an underground passage in the Xinjiang capital, according to Urumqi prosecutors.

The suspects were caught at the scene. The Urumqi prosecutors approved the arrests of the four on Monday.

Previously, four suspects were prosecuted for endangering public security.


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