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Deadly evidence piles up in Urumqi
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08:14, August 21, 2009

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Evidence in the case is literally weighty - nearly 400 kg of batons and bricks stained with blood, used as deadly weapons in the riot that rocked Urumqi on July 5.

With trials expected to begin this month, according to a local judge, the city is holding its breath and hoping for calm.

"I don't want to be reminded of what happened that day," said one mother in the city, afraid that a court ruling could ignite anger in this ethnically diverse city.

During the deadly riot on July 5, 197 people were beaten to death by predominantly Uygur rioters armed with batons and bricks. More than 1,600 were injured.

Two days later, Han Chinese took part in violence against the Uygurs.

After the riot, 718 people were placed in criminal detention and 83 have been formally arrested.

Urumqi police currently have 3,318 pieces of evidence, 91 video clips and 2,169 photographs, said Chen Zhuangwei, head of the public security bureau of Urumqi.

All the evidence will be presented during trials at the Urumqi Intermediate People's Court.

Though no date has been confirmed, a source told China Daily that the trials for Han Chinese will start before trials for Uygur suspects.

"If the court punishes the Uygurs too harshly, there could be a scene outside the court, and it's the same when it comes to Han Chinese," a local resident said.

Despite the heavy presence of armed police and paramilitary, who continue to be stationed in key locations around the city, life in Urumqi is returning to normal.

Source: China Daily

Special report: Urumqi Riot

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