Chinese authorities say nine new suspects have been arrested in
western Xinjiang as needle attacks apparently spread outside the
capital of the remote region.
The official China Daily newspaper says six were held this week in Hotan, two in Altay and one in Kashgar.
last week, more than 500 people in the capital of Urumqi have reported
attacks, though only about 100 showed evidence of being pricked.
this month, the bizarre stabbings led to mass demonstrations by
thousands of Han Chinese against what protesters said was a government
that was incapable of guaranteeing their safety.
|Han Chinese demonstrators push against riot shields of security forces during protest downtown in Urumqi, 03 Sep 2009 |
Officials and state media have blamed the attacks in Urumqi on separatists bent on destroying ethnic unity.
early July, a demonstration by Uighurs turned into a riot in which
nearly 200 people, mostly Han Chinese, were killed. Han Chinese
launched revenge attacks two days later.
Uighurs have long
complained of discrimination by the Han Chinese, who dominate China's
leadership. The Uighurs say they are denied economic opportunities and
are persecuted for their different culture and religion. Beijing says
it treats everyone equally.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.