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China cries foul over Uighur violence

July 3, 2013 at 12:14 PM

BEIJING, July 3 (UPI) -- There has been an unfair level of accusation pointed at the Chinese government for religious violence in Xinjiang province, Chinese state media said.

Chinese authorities announced the arrest of 19 people Monday in the Xinjiang-Uighur region where June violence left at least 35 people dead. Those arrested were suspected of inciting violence in the region, which Chinese media described as an act of terrorism.

The New York Times reported this week supporters of rights for the Uighur ethnic community expressed concern with China's heavy-handed policies in the region. Uighur advocates were quoted as saying the Chinese government was making matters worse in Xinjiang.

China's official Xinhua News Agency expressed concern in an editorial Wednesday, saying it was frustrated by the lack of sympathy for terrorism in China. The commentary said it was unfair for the West to speak so strongly against terrorism in the Middle East but express so little sympathy for China's plight.

"Rather than condemn the terrorists, they have blamed Beijing's ethnic policies and even hinted at religious repression," the piece stated.

The violence came ahead of the fourth anniversary of ethnic riots in the region's capital Urumqi in which about 200 died.

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