By China.org.cn Multimedia Team
Death toll has risen to 156 following the riot Sunday evening in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, according to official sources.
Li Yi, head of the publicity department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Xinjiang regional committee, said early Tuesday morning that the dead include 129 men and 27 women. Li added 1,080 people were injured in the riot.
The police put the death toll at 140 as of midday of Monday. Among the 16 newly reported dead, some died in hospitals and others were recovered from street corners, the regional police authorities said Monday night.
Police have got clues that some people were trying to organize more unrests in Kashi City, Yili Kazak Prefecture and Aksu City.
In Urumqi, the regional public security department commanded raids to several groups who allegedly plotted unrests in Dawan Township in Tianshan District and a former race course where floating population gathered.
A number of suspects were arrested during the raids while there were no casualties among police officers.
In Kashi, more than 200 people trying to gather at the Id Kah Mosque, the largest mosque in China, were dispersed by police at about 6 p.m. Monday.
Most of the shops in the Kashi were closed amid the current tension. Only several restaurants run by Uygur people were open at about 10 p.m., the time for night snack in a normal period. Few people were seen in the streets.
The police had set checkpoints at crossroads from the Kashi airport to the downtown areas.
A nightmarish night
According to police report, in the early hours on Sunday, the police department of Urumqi was tipped that information was spreading on Internet forums, calling for demonstrations at the People's Square and South Gate at 7 p.m. Sunday.
At 6:20 p.m., more than 100 people gathered at there. Violence began around 8 p.m., when some rioters started beating pedestrians and smash buses on Heping Road.
The violence soon spread to many other downtown areas.
Kadi Liya, a 23-year-old female Uygur, said she was returning home on No. 106 bus when her bus was smashed at around 7:30 p.m. at Shanxi Alley, with window glasses battered. She was beaten in the head by someone with a wood baton. She suffered slight cerebral concussion and is being treated in the regional People's Hospital.
Police said buildings in the residential compounds of the traffic police department and the taxation bureau in Tianshan District were severely scorched. "Some residents had to hide themselves in forests nearby and dared not to return home," a policeman said.
The violence in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, has left 156 people dead, according to official sources.[Xinhua]
"It was like a war zone here, with many bodies of ethnic Han people lying on the road," said Huang Yabo, deputy director of the Urumqi Public Security Bureau.
Two workers of a scorched massage house on Yan'an Road were beaten to death. Fourteen people along the road said they were homeless.
A witness said an injured person was lying under the Tuanjie Road viaduct, bleeding, late Sunday night. On another street, a woman lay dead, with a bag on her back.
On Xinhua South Road, a sedan and a truck were overthrown. Their windows were smashed and doors deformed.
Rioters also set fire to a large hotel near the office building of the regional foreign trade department.