Innocent civilians make up 156 in Urumqi riot death toll (08/05/09)

URUMQI, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- Authorities in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region confirmed Wednesday that innocent civilians accounted for 156 of the 197 deaths in the Urumqi riot a month ago.

Hou Hanmin, spokesman of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regional Government said, in terms of ethnicity, of the 156 dead civilians, 134 were Han Chinese, 11 were from the Hui ethnic group, 10 were Uygurs, and one was from the Man ethnic group.

Twelve others were shot while committing violence or criminal activities. The identities of the remainder have yet to be determined.

Hou also denied foreign media reports of an associate professor of the ethnic Uygur group at Beijing's Minzu University being detained on implication of involvement in the Urumqi riot.

"Further investigations show no teaching staff of the Uygur ethnic group has been interrogated for being implicated in criminal activities because of the Urumqi unrest on July 5," said Hou.

According to Chen Zhuangwei, head of the Public Security Department of Urumqi, 718 people have been detained on suspicion of being implicated in July 5 riot which left 197 people dead and more than 1,600 injured.

And eighty-three people had been arrested on suspicion of being implicated in the riot, said Procurator Utiku'er Abudrehman of the People's Procuratorate of Urumqi City Tuesday. 

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