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China Cordons Off Central Villages Following Ethnic Clashes

Chinese troops have cordoned off villages in central China following fighting between ethnic groups that killed at least seven people.

China's official Xinhua news agency reports 42 people were injured in the clashes, which residents say were between members of the majority Han community and the Hui Muslim ethnic group. The agency says 18 people were arrested.

Residents and officials in central Henan province say the fighting began after a traffic accident last week in the town of Langchenggang.

Han Chinese make up more than 90 percent of China's population, but the country has 55 officially recognized ethnic groups. Information about such clashes is hard to come by, as Beijing suppresses information about social conflict.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.