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Human Rights Group Calls For UN Probe Into Chinese Ethnic Violence

An international human rights group is calling for a United Nations investigation into the cause of a deadly ethnic conflict in China over the weekend.

Chinese media reported more than 150 deaths in the aftermath of two days of violent clashes between Han Chinese and Muslim Uighurs in Xinjian Province. The tensions continued into Tuesday as the Chinese government tried to control information about the unrest.

The Chinese government needs to bring in an “international investigator from the United Nations to try to determine what exactly happened on Sunday and what were the reasons for it," said Human Rights Watch Asia Researcher Phelim Kine, in Hong Kong.

The government has tried to block Web traffic from the region to prevent user sites such as Twitter and YouTube from broadcasting images of the violence to the World.

Human Rights Watch also urged the Chinese government to exercise maximum restraint in the face of the violence in Xinjiang. "The Chinese government needs to demonstrate appropriate levels of force in dealing with civil unrest and not over react, not jump to the use of deadly force, " Phelim Kine said.

Chinese authorities accused the Uighurs of seeking independence for Xinjiang, where they are the majority ethnic group.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged China to peacefully resolve its differences through talks.