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83 Urumqi riot suspects arrested
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Authorities in Urumqi City said Tuesday 83 people had been arrested on suspicion of being implicated in the July 5 riot which left 197 people dead and more than 1,600 injured.

Procurator Utiku'er Abudrehman, made the announcement at a press conference Tuesday in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

It is the first time Urumqi authorities have officially announced formal arrests.

He said those arrested will face charges including murder, intentional injury, arson and robbery.

At the same briefing, Urumqi City police chief Chen Zhuangwei said a total of 718 people had now been detained on suspicion of being implicated in the riot.

Chen, head of the Public Security Department of Urumqi, said collecting evidence had been a heavy load for the city's police force. It had involved examinations at the crime scenes and DNA evaluations, but it had been carried out swiftly.

Chen said police had visited more than 1,000 people, including those injured in the rioting and families whose members had lost their lives in the unrest. Police had also inspected 530 shops and 943 motor vehicles damaged during the violence. As well, they collected and examined 3,318 pieces of evidence, and obtained 2,169 photos and 91 groups of video clippings of crime scenes in Urumqi.

(Xinhua News Agency August 5, 2009)

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