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Tragic stories of Urumqi riot victims
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By Zhang Yunxing
China.org.cn staff reporter in Urumqi

Dong Yuanyuan was brutally beaten by rioters in Urumqi on Sunday July 5. She was married just three days before, on July 2, and has had no news of her husband since the attack. [John Sexton, China.org.cn]

24-year-old Dong Yuanyuan had been married for just 3 days when she and her husband were attacked by rioters in Urumqi on Sunday July 5. She should be spending the happiest week of her life on honeymoon in Shanghai, but instead she is lying badly injured in Urumqi's People's Hospital.

She last saw her husband just before she was beaten unconscious, and she has no idea if he is alive or dead. She can only pray that he survived; perhaps, like her, being treated in an intensive care unit.

Dong described how the bus they were traveling on was brought to a halt by a hail of stones. The driver told the passengers to get off and run for their lives, but the couple soon found themselves surrounded.

Dong said their attackers were from the Uygur ethnic group. Because she was born in Xinjiang and lived in her home town of Yili until the age of 19, she was able to stall them with a few words of Uyghur. But once they realized she was from China's majority Han ethnic group, they began to beat her mercilessly. She has no doubt she was attacked simply because of her ethnic background.

A Uygur woman saved Dong's life by picking her up and hiding her in a room above a nearby shop. Dong watched, terrified, from the upstairs window as the bus she had been traveling on was set on fire.

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