6 Jul 2009

Death toll in Xinjiang riot rises to 140

The death toll has risen to 140 following Sunday night's riot in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the regional government said Monday.

Fifty-seven dead bodies were retrieved from Urumqi's streets and lanes, while all the others were confirmed dead at hospitals, said Liu Yaohua, the region's police chief, at a press conference midday Monday.

He said the death toll would still be climbing. At least 828 people were injured in the deadly violence that erupted Sunday night.


Rioters burned 261 motor vehicles, including 190 buses, at least 10 taxis and two police cars, said Liu.

As of 9 am, several vehicles were still seen ablaze on Urumqi's streets he said. A preliminary investigation showed 203 shops and 14 homes were destroyed in the riot.

Police have arrested several hundred in connection with the riot, including at least a dozen who were suspected of fanning the unrest, Liu said.

China Daily