A top human rights official of the United Nations has expressed alarm at the high number of casualties sustained during this weekend's rioting in Urumqi, capital of China's Xinjiang and called for an investigation into the reasons for violence.
"This is an extraordinarily high number of people to be killed and injured in less than a day of rioting," Navi Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a statement and called on all people to show restraint in the wake of the "major tragedy".
News reports say that more than 150 people have been killed and 800 others injured during the violent clashes in China over the weekend.
"I urge Uighur and Han civic leaders, and the Chinese authorities at all levels, to exercise great restraint so as not to spark further violence and loss of life," Pillay said.
Pillay also underscored the need to maintain the right of demonstrators to exercise their freedom of expression peacefully. "I fully recognise that the authorities have an essential duty to maintain public order," she said.