Crackdown nabs 94 riot suspects in Xinjiang

0 CommentsPrint E-mail China Daily, Xinhua, December 10, 2009
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The police's "strike hard" campaign in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region has so far led to the arrests of 94 people in connection with the bloody July 5 riots.

The arrests were made last month and were among 382 detained by the region's police within the scope of the dragnet, which began in November and will last until the end of the year, said the regional public security department on Tuesday.

The campaign cracks down on all crimes but its focus is to capture suspects connected with the riots on July 5 in the regional capital of Urumqi. Nearly 1,700 were injured and 197, mostly of the Han ethnic group, died in the violent riots.

A public security spokesperson did not have any tally of which ethnicities were among the 94 arrested last month.

Police said they will continue the manhunt for suspects connected to the riots. They will also "keep a close eye on clues and cases involving terrorism and explosions".

According to authorities, 786 troubled areas have been targeted in the region thus far. Security in those areas has improved, the spokesman said.

The dragnet led to the dissolution of 66 criminal groups.

Police have intensified efforts to combat the trafficking of women and children, illegal manufacturing and trading of explosives, unauthorized gun ownership and counterfeit cash, the spokesman said.

Those who spread rumors to cause widespread public panic are also targeted in the campaign, according to the police.

A total of 41 people have been convicted so far for murder and other crimes committed during the riots. Seventeen have been sentenced to death. Nine of the 17 have been executed.

Police have so far asked the procuratorate to approve the arrests of 575 suspects thought to have been involved in 366 cases. Of the 575 requests, 430 have been granted, the local authority announced earlier.

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