China raises Xinjiang death toll to 184

China has raised the death toll from ethnic rioting in its far west to 184 and detailed for the first time the ethnicity of those killed, while tension lingered over the city at the center of the strife. The official Xinhua news agency said on Saturday that 137 of those killed in the mayhem on July 5 in Urumqi, regional capital of Xinjiang, were Han Chinese, who form the majority of China's 1.3 billion population, including 111 men and 26 women. Forty-six were Uighurs, the largely Muslim people of Xinjiang who share cultural bonds with Central Asian peoples. All but one of them were men. Uighurs make up 46 percent of Xinjiang's 21.3 million people, according to government statistics. Xinhua said the other person killed in the attacks that erupted last weekend was a member of the Hui ethnic group, which is Muslim but culturally akin to Han Chinese. The brief report did not say whether the death toll included rioters who may have been killed by security forces. The reaction on Urumqi streets to the official death toll reflected the deepening ethnic divide in Xinjiang, with Uighurs expressing disbelief in the number. "That's the Han people's number. We have our own number," said Akumjia, a Uighur resident, as he eyed security forces who had cordoned off a street where there was an outburst of protest near a mosque and then arrests on Friday. A security forces helicopter buzzed overhead. "Maybe many, many more Uighurs died. The police were scared and lost control." Close to where he stood, what appeared to be a spray of bullet holes could be seen on the glass front of a Bank of China office. There were no bullets among the shards. The government has not said what kind of forces was used to suppress the bloody rioting. Many Uighur residents say they heard or saw gunfire. Chinese authorities had delayed releasing the ethnic breakdown of the dead, possibly out of concern it would further inflame the situation. Several Han Chinese residents said distrust toward Uighurs was likely to stay. "This [new number] at least shows that the victims weren't only Han people," said Zhao Hong, a Han resident who said she saw some of the bloodshed from her home window before hiding. "Uighurs also died ... But then they blame Han for being so angry about the killing and looting."

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