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China Executes Nine Ethnic Uighurs in July Unrest

China Executes Nine Ethnic Uighurs in July Unrest
China Executes Nine Ethnic Uighurs in July Unrest

China has executed nine Uighurs for taking part in July's ethnic unrest in the western city of Urumqi.

The official Xinhua news agency says the nine were the first of those convicted in the riots to be executed.  It said the sentences were carried out with the approval of the country's supreme court.

Violence erupted in the Xinjiang regional capital of Urumqi on July 5, after Uighurs protested the deaths of two Uighur factory workers in a brawl with Han Chinese in southern China's Guangdong province.  

Uighurs say the protests turned violent when police cracked down on the rally. Protesters then attacked ethnic Han people in the regional capital.  Two days later, Han Chinese staged revenge attacks.  

Nearly 200 people are believed to have been killed, but the official toll is much lower.

At least 21 people have been sentenced in connection with the Urumqi riots, in crimes ranging from murder to arson, robbery and destruction of property.  Twelve people have been sentenced to death.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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