Update: BBC News is now reporting that at least 140 are dead and over 800 injured. It also has video, which may be disturbing for some to watch.
Riots erupted yesterday in Xinjiang after a protest in Urumuqi’s People’s Square turned sour, ending with three dead and scores injured, according to Xinhua. One of the protestors told SCMP that the protest had been held to demand an investigation into a deadly June 25 brawl between Uighur and Han Chinese workers at a toy factory in southern China.
It was meant to be a silent sit-down, but when the numbers swelled to 1,000 and people refused to disperse, the protest became violent. Xinhua has pointed the finger at the World Uyghur Congress, calling the riots a “preempted, organized violent crime. It is instigated and directed from abroad, and carried out by outlaws in the country.”
But some human rights groups and Uighur independence activists have argued that it was yet another harshly played hand by Beijing, where excessive force was used to beat down what was at first a peaceful event. While Xinhua says that three have died (all Han), BBC Chinese reports that the current body count also includes 10 Uyghurs. More pictures can be found on Boxun.