URUMQI (AFP/Reuters) - Riot police and soldiers kept a strong presence in Chinas Urumqi city Thursday after days of unrest as taxis returned to the streets and some businesses re-opened in tentative signs of normality. But the capital of Chinas restive Xinjiang region remained divided, with security forces separating Han Chinese districts from Muslim Uighur areas following unrest that began on Sunday and left at least 156 people dead. Urumqis mayor said late Wednesday the city was back under control, after thousands of Han Chinese roamed the streets vowing vengeance and to defend themselves in response to initial violence authorities blamed on Uighurs. There were no signs of the vigilantes, many of whom had been carrying poles, shovels and other makeshift weapons, and public buses as well as taxis were again plying the main thoroughfares in the Han Chinese parts of town. But even though more shops had also re-opened after a three-day government-mandated business closure, residents remained extremely tense and doubtful life would return to normal anytime soon. How can it return to normal with so many soldiers, said a Han woman surnamed Li in central Urumqi. Ive counted 42 military trucks so far and more trucks just came by. And the big bazaar in the main Uighur district remained shut, with Uighurs saying the closure was another example of the different rules they have to live by compared with the Han Chinese. They said we could re-open after three days. But today is the fourth day and they are not letting us open, said a clothing shop owner. Over in the Chinese part of town, the buses are running there, the shops are open, but here the buses are not running and the shops are closed. This is equal treatment? Authorities have posted notices urging rioters to turn themselves in or face stern punishment. Li Zhi, Communist Party boss of Urumqi, said he would seek the death penalty for rioters who resorted to cruel means and murdered people in this city divided between Uighurs and Han, the countrys predominant ethnic group. The notices, posted on walls in the Chinese and Uighur languages, say that those who hide or protect criminals will also be punished. The death penalty is common in China, even for economic crimes. The line of troops, armoured vehicles and trucks measuring several kilometres passed for about 25 minutes through Saimachang, the Uighur neighbourhood where hundreds of women protested on Tuesday. Helicopters flying only a few metres above rooftops scattered leaflets urging ethnic unity over the crowd of hundreds who gathered to watch the security forces march by. Troops mounted on the truck with guns and riot shields shouted slogans in unison and some of the trucks carried signs in Chinese, one of which read separatists bring calamity to the country and its people. Chinese President Hu Jintao, meanwhile, said that maintaining social stability in the energy-rich region was the most urgent task, state television reported on Thursday. Hu, who doubles as Communist Party chief, told the decision-making Politburo late on Wednesday that local authorities should isolate and deal a blow to the small group of rioters and to unite and educate the majority of Uighurs. Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang shrugged off Turkeys call for the UN Security Council to discuss ways of ending the violence, saying Xinjiang was an internal affair.