Arrest warrants to be issued soon in Urumqi riots | world | Hindustan Times
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Arrest warrants to be issued soon in Urumqi riots

world Updated: Jul 16, 2009 20:31 IST

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Chinese authorities have completed an initial probe into the deadly communal riots in the northwestern city of Urumqi and will soon issue arrest warrants, the region's top prosecutor said on Thursday.

The violent elements involved in the recent unrest in Xinjiang Autonomous Region's capital, where 192 people died, will be "severely punished," Xinjiang's chief prosecutor Hamsi Mamuti said.

"The arrest warrants will be issued soon," Mamuti was quoted as saying by the official China News Service.

"The violent elements will be severely punished according to the law," he said.

The riots started after a crowd of protestors from the ethnic Uygur Muslim community turned violent on July 5 and clashed with police and with members of the majority Han Chinese community.

A tense calm continues to persist in the city with a large number of security forces deployed on the streets.

The government has blamed Uygur leader Rebiya Kadeer, now living in exile, for inciting unrest among the Uygurs.

China on Thursday said it opposed any foreign country from supporting Kadeer, after organisers of the Melbourne International Film Festival accused Beijing of trying to stop screening of a documentary about her.

"We oppose any foreign countries providing her with a platform to engage in anti-China separatist activities," foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters on Thursday.