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Uygur victims of south China toy factory brawl condemn Xinjiang riot
Updated: 2009-07-07 03:52

SHAOGUAN: The Xinjiang Uygur workers injured in a toy factory brawl in south China's Guangdong Province condemned the riot in their hometown, where at least 156 people were killed.

"The rioters used our injuries as an excuse for their violence, " said Atigul Turdi, 24, who was injured when she was running out of the scene of the fight on June 26 in Xuri toy factory in Shaoguan City, Guangdong. "I firmly opposed the violence in the name of taking revenge for us."

Uygur victims of south China toy factory brawl condemn Xinjiang riot
Firefighters put out a fire in Dawannanlu Street in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Sunday July 5, 2009. [Xinhua] 

Two Uygur workers died and 60 Xinjiang Uygur workers were injured in the brawl. Then riot organizers started posting calls on Internet forums for demonstrations in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

"I believe the government will handle the brawl appropriately," Turdi said. "Why did the rioters destroy our beautiful and peaceful Xinjiang region in such cruel manners?"

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Among the 60 injured workers from Xinjiang, 29 have been discharged from hospital and a dozen others had recovered, said Fan Shiping, a doctor at Yuebei People's Hospital in Shaoguan City.

"The rest who were being treated are in stable conditions," he said. "We are getting along with the patients very well."

Turdi said she would stay in Guangdong to work after recovery. As one of the first workers to arrive at Xuri factory from Shufu County of Xinjiang on May 1, she missed the happy days to work with her colleagues harmoniously.

"Every one was very happy at a party after our arrival," she said.

But she was worried rioters would "do something terrible in other areas besides Urumqi."

"My family in Xinjiang are also afraid," she said.

Ebeyjan Ahmad, whose arms and head were hurt in the fight, was waiting to be discharged from hospital.

He shared the worry with Turdi and chose to work in Shaoguan, too.

"As long as I'm safe here, I'd like to stay," he said. "I've made phone calls to my family so that they won't worry about me."

Doctors celebrated the birthday of 18-year-old Kurbanjan Abdulla in the hospital. He was presented with a birthday cake and received good wishes from the patients.

The government of Shaoguan and the factory are trying their best to help the Uygur workers go back to work as soon as possible, officials said.

The alleged sexual assault on a female Han worker Huang Cuiling by several Uygur co-workers at 11 p.m. on June 25 triggered the fight between Uygur and Han ethnic workers in the Xuri toy factory in the early morning on June 26, said Nur Bekri, chairman of the Xinjiang regional government, at the press conference on Monday.

The death of two Uygur workers in the fight were used as an excuse for the riot in the regional capital Urumqi, which Bekri said was  masterminded by the forces of terrorism and separatism.

In the early hours of Sunday, the Urumqi police department got a tip-off that there were calls on Internet forums for demonstrations.

The riot began around 8 p.m., when rioters started beating pedestrians and smashing buses. The violence soon spread to many other downtown areas.

Police said at least 156 people had died and more than 800 were injured in the  riot.

The 23-year-old Uygur native Kad Raya was hit on the head in the riot. "I was on the bus after coming back from job markets. Rioters blocked the road, and someone beat my head with a stick when I was getting off the bus," she said.

"They have damaged my health and ruined my prospect to find a good job. I have no idea why the rioters claim to be pursuing happiness for us."

Jiang Li, a Kazak student who graduated from Hunan University, said she could not believe such cruel violence could occur in her hometown.

"The incident will cause economic loss to Xinjiang which is underdeveloped," she said. "Those rioters cannot represent Xinjiang people."

Xinjiang Communist Party of China (CPC) chief Wang Lequan said Monday the riot in Urumqi revealed the violent and terrorist nature of the separatist World Uyghur Congress leader Rebiya Kadeer.

"The riot has destroyed the spiritual support with which the terrorist, separatist and extremist forces cheated the people to participate in the so-called 'Jihad'," Wang said. "The incident also revealed Rebiya's nature of fake human rights, fake democracy, true violence and true terrorism."

Wang called the riot a profound lesson learned in blood and said all Party members should take the strongest measures to deal with the enemies'  attempt at sabotage and keep regional stability.

"We must always bear in mind that national unity is our lifeline," he said.