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Hundreds more arrested in Urumqi in riot's aftermath
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08:47, July 30, 2009

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Police in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, have detained 253 more suspects in connection with the July 5 riot that left 197 people dead.

Most of the newly-detained were turned in by people from several ethnic groups, police said yesterday.

The latest group of suspects join more than 1,000 who were placed in detention by July 6, the second day of violence in Urumqi. Police did not say how many of that first group have since been released.

Days after the fatal violence, the public security department of Xinjiang and Urumqi issued notices urging people to tell them about suspects who were still at large.

"As of July 20, the criminal investigation team of the Urumqi police station has received more than 1,000 pieces of information about suspects from local people. Thanks to this information, extremely difficult cases have been cracked, including the one in which a family of five was burned to death in their house," police said.

One unnamed person who passed information on to the police said: "It's horrible. If I had not told what I have seen, I would have been tortured by my conscience."

Pay-out for loss of service

Mobile subscribers and Internet users in the region will be "compensated" for disruption to services following the deadly riots, according to the local authority.

"Telecom companies will compensate users, either by reducing fees or extending service terms," the regional government's press office said in a statement late Tuesday.

Haimiti Mijiti, vice-president of China Telecom's Xinjiang branch, confirmed the government's compensation plan, but said the details of the plan were still under discussion.

China Telecom broadband subscribers in Urumqi received phone calls on Tuesday night explaining that they do not need to pay the broadband fee for July because the service was disrupted.

Internet connection and mobile text message services were cut in some areas shortly after the July 5 riot. Top Urumqi official Li Zhi said it was done to "quench the riot quickly and prevent violence from spreading to other places".

Telecom services are gradually being restored.

"We have reopened online banking, security, recruitment and some e-commerce services," a spokesman with the administration said.

Mobile users in Xinjiang are now able to receive some text messages, including weather forecasts and notices from the local government, he said.


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