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Timeline of unrest in China's Xinjiang region

world Updated: Jul 07, 2009 14:35 IST

AFP
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Ethnic unrest in China's Xinjiang region at the weekend has left at least 156 people dead, according to the latest official toll. Following is a chronology of key events related to the restive region since May 2008:

2008

May 5
: Three killed in bus bombing in Shanghai. The Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP) claims responsibility.

July 8: Chinese authorities say police killed five Muslims who were planning a "holy war" in Urumqi, Xinjiang's capital.

July 21: Three buses bombed in Kunming, in southwest China's Yunnan province, killing two people. TIP claims responsibility. China says TIP not responsible, but gives no details.

August 4: China says "terrorists" kill 17 policemen at a police station in Kashgar, days before the Beijing Olympics open.

August 10: Ten attackers and one security guard are killed in bombings and a shoot-out with police in the remote city of Kuqa.

August 12: Three security officers are killed when assailants jump off a vehicle passing through a checkpoint and stab them.

August 27: Two policemen are killed and five wounded while searching a cornfield near Kashgar, western Xinjiang, for a suspect connected with an earlier attack.

August 29: Chinese police kill six and arrest three others in a clash in Kashgar prefecture.

2009

February 25: A couple from Xinjiang set themselves on fire with their son in central Beijing over a dispute with their local government. They survive.

April 9: China executes two Muslim men in Kashgar for what it says was a "terrorist" attack that took place on August 4 and left 17 policemen dead.

July 5: Peaceful protests deteriorate into violence in Urumqi, with thousands of Uighurs rioting in the city. Initial official reports put the death toll at three.

July 6: Security forces fan out across Xinjiang. Officials put the death toll from Sunday's unrest at 140. The Xinjiang government blames exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer for orchestrating the unrest. But Kadeer and other Uighur exiles blame the Chinese authorities.

July 7: Police fire tear gas to disperse thousands of armed Han Chinese threatening revenge attacks on Uighurs in Urumqi. State media reports at least 156 people were killed in the weekend violence, and more than 1,400 arrested.