'No demonstration at all before Xinjiang riot'

Updated: 2011-07-22 08:32

HOTAN, Xinjiang - Recalling the bloody attack, Askar Madjan fell again in great fear.

Madjan runs a store at the Idkah Bazaar near a police station in the city of Hotan in northwest China's Xinjiang Autonomous Region. Three days ago, a group of rioters attacked the police station, leaving four dead and four others injured, and 14 rioters were shot dead.

"I've been in my store the whole morning, and there was no demonstration at all," Madjan said.

"Seeing the backyard of the police station catch fire and feeling scared, I quickly closed my store and went home," he said.

Ablet Metniyaz, chief of the police station, said that rumors about demonstration were groundless.

"The attack was premeditated. They just did it after most of the police left," he said.

A police officer with city's public security bureau said the attackers, holding knives, gas cylinders, stones and slingshot, stabbed two taxation officials at first.

"They may have taken the officials as police, as taxation and police uniforms resemble," said the officer on condition of anonymity.

"There was no 'peaceful demonstration' at all. Their purpose was just to kill police and the innocent," he said. "They hang ultra-religious banners on the station building just to fabricate larger impacts."

Dawut Karihaji, imam of a local mosque, shook his head while talking about the riot.

"Real muslims oppose such violence," said the white-bearded old man.

"Violence against civilians is not tolerated by any nation," he added.

Li Xiaoyu, a doctor of the People's Hospital of Hotan, who helped to rescue the injured people on the day of the attack, said, "I was shocked to see a man suffering so many chopping wounds."

Having participated in some medical campaigns including the disaster-relief work after the devastating Wenchuan earthquake of May 12, 2008, Li said she had never seen such a brutal scene.

Li, who came to Hotan from Beijing along with many other doctors at the end of last year in an effort to assist Xinjiang's medical service, said local people treat them in a warm and friendly manner.

"Hotan people long for peace and safety, they will never allow extremists to sabotage Hotan's peaceful development," she said.

"I'm not leaving just because of the roit. Hotan's development is unstoppable," said Xu Hong, a grassroots official of Hotan.

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