US expresses concern over China provinceJuly 7th, 2009 - 4:32 am ICT by IANS
Washington, July 7 (DPA) The US Monday called for restraint after clashes in China’s Xinjiang region left more than 150 people dead.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a statement that the circumstances behind the violence remained unclear but urged both sides to exercise calm.
“We are deeply concerned over reports of many deaths and injuries from violence,” Gibbs said.
The clashes took place between ethnic minority Uyghurs, the majority Han and police. The rioting began after Uyghurs staged a protest Sunday.
The Muslim Uyghurs seek independence from China. There are about a dozen Uyghurs who remain in US custody at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The US has said they are eligible for release but has struggled to find countries willing to host them.
Washington has rebuffed Beijing’s demands to return the Uyghur prisoners to China, fearing they could be mistreated.
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