Britain urges restraint in China after deadly riots | world | Hindustan Times
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Britain urges restraint in China after deadly riots

world Updated: Jul 06, 2009 16:57 IST

Britain on Monday urged restraint after 140 people were killed in riots in China's restive Xinjiang region.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown's spokesman said the government was concerned about reports of violence and called for problems in the region, home to ethnic Muslim Uighurs, to be resolved through dialogue.

"Of course we are concerned about the reports of violence and the scale of the loss of life and I think we would urge restraint on all sides and, where possible, for problems to be resolved through dialogue," the spokesman said.

The violence in the regional capital Urumqi on Sunday involved thousands of people, and triggered a security crackdown across Xinjiang where tensions have long simmered amid Uighur claims of repressive Chinese rule.

China's official Xinhua news agency, citing local government officials, said several hundred people had been arrested for involvement in the unrest, which authorities blamed on Uighurs.

Exiled Uighur groups accused Chinese security forces, saying they had over-reacted to peaceful protests and opened fire.