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50 confirmed dead in China unrest

File Photo
File Photo

Fifty people were killed in China's restive, far-western region of Xinjiang province at the weekend, a media report said Friday.

The unrest included explosions at a shop, a market and two police stations in Luntai on Sunday evening, the state-run news agency Xinhua reported, citing official Tianshan website.

The dead comprised 40 rioters, six civilians, two police and two auxiliary police, the report said. Earlier reports had said that two people died.

Fifty-four civilians were injured, 32 of them ethnic Uighurs. Police captured two of the rioters.

Repeated clashes between ethic Uighurs, who make up about 8 million of Xinjiang's 21.8 million people, and Chinese security forces have occurred in recent years.

Many Uighurs complain of cultural and religious repression, and say that Han Chinese migrants enjoy the main benefits of development in the oil-producing but economically backward region.

Luntai is in central Xinjiang, some 360 kilometres from the regional capital, Urumqi.

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