Surveilance cameras to keep northwest China's riot-rocked city under watch

20:14, January 25, 2011      

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The municipal government of northwest China's Urumqi plans to put the entire city under surveillance by installing tens of thousands of cameras in the city hit by deadly riots 18 months ago, officials said Tuesday.

Nearly 17,000 cameras were installed in the city last year, enabling police to monitor an additional 2,109 public venues, head of the municipal government's information technology office Wang Yannian said.

The coverage of camera surveillance will extend this year, according to Urumqi Mayor Jerla Isamudinhe at the annual meeting of the city's legislature that ended on the weekend.

Currently, 3,400 buses, 4,400 streets, 270 schools and 100 shopping malls are under surveillance, Wang said.

Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, was rocked by China's worst riots in decades in July 2009. The violence left 197 dead and 1,700 injured.

Overseas terrorists and splittists were believed to be the masterminds of the riot, but the local government's failure to quickly detect and deal with the threat was also criticized.

Wang said the installation of high-definition cameras allows the "seamless" surveillance of sensitive places.

Cameras using infrared rays were also installed in key spots, to improve nighttime surveillance, officials said.

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