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What China is doing to quell Uighur-Han unrest

Police established a curfew Tuesday, as 20,000 security forces roamed the streets. Internet connections have also been cut to prevent the violence from 'spreading.'

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Police slapped a dawn-to-dusk curfew on the capital of China's Xinjiang region Tuesday, in a bid to halt a slide into communal violence between mainly Muslim Uighurs and Han Chinese.

In the aftermath of violence on Sunday that left 156 people dead and more than 1,000 injured according to official figures, Uighur and Han mobs roamed the streets of Urumqi armed with cleavers, clubs, and sticks, beating up passers-by, according to reports from the city.

Some 20,000 security forces blanketed Urumqi Tuesday, using tear gas to disperse rival crowds and prevent further bloodshed, as up to 1,000 young Han men sought out Uighurs and looted their property. It was unclear whether anyone had died in the assaults. (Getting Uighurs to talk was impossible, and even Chinese scholars have been unwilling to speak with foreign reporters about the situation.)

Xinjiang's top official, Communist Party Secretary Wang Lequan, said the curfew was necessary "to avoid further chaos."

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