Share This Page

China rolls out heavy armor to quash violence

| Saturday, June 29, 2013, 9:42 p.m.

BEIJING — Dozens of armored vehicles and military trucks rolled into the capital of the western Chinese region of Xinjiang on Saturday as President Xi Jinping ordered tighter security after at least two outbreaks of violence last week.

Photos from Urumqi showing dozens of white armored vehicles and open-topped trucks filled with troops and police in riot gear circulated on the microblog service Weibo. An Agence France-Presse reporter on the scene said the action shut down large sections of the city's center, with hundreds of armed troops massing in People's Square.

The display of might occurred amid rising tension between minority Muslim Uighurs and Han Chinese authorities as the region prepares to mark the fourth anniversary of ethnic clashes that left nearly 200 people dead in Urumqi in July 2009.

In the latest incident, on Friday, state-run media said more than 100 knife-wielding people riding motorbikes attacked a police station in the city of Hotan; the number of casualties was unclear.

Official media reported no injuries or deaths, but Radio Free Asia said two people may have been slain by police officers who had become unnerved when Uighurs began shouting religious slogans after leaving a mosque.

Friday's violence followed a bloody clash on Wednesday in the town of Lukqun in which at least 35 people died. State-run media said mobs attacked a government office and a migrant worker dormitory and burned a police station. That was the deadliest incident since the riots in 2009.

In a commentary Friday, the Global Times, a newspaper closely affiliated with the Communist Party, acknowledged that “there are problems within Xinjiang” but denounced those behind the attacks as “cannon fodder with no political sense.”

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.