Shot Uighurs had called for holy war, says China


About 150 people were inside an unnamed mosque on Urumqi's Jiefang Road Monday afternoon when one of the three men tried to grab the microphone from the imam, the official China Daily reported.

The man was stopped but stood up several minutes later, unfurling a green banner, shouting "jihad" and calling on other Uighurs in the mosque to follow him, the newspaper quoted the imam as saying.

The imam said he ended the prayer session early and ordered the eviction of the man from the mosque, the report said.

Security guards intervened when the man's two accomplices took out long knives and tried to force people to go with them.

As the melee spilled outside the mosque, the three men chased a security guard who was trying to shepherd people away, the guard was quoted as saying.
He said police stopped the group but were forced to shoot the three Uighurs after their warning shots failed to halt the attack on him.

Two of the Uighurs were shot dead and the third was injured, the local government said.
Earlier reports said the three Uighurs were trying to kill passersby near the Urumqi Women and Children's Hospital.

A Uighur bystander and a policeman were also injured in the clash, the report said.
Thousands of armed riot police remain in Urumqi following some of the worst ethnic violence for decades in China.

More than 180 people have died and at least 1,700 have been injured in rioting and ethnic clashes since July 5, with about two-thirds of the victims from the majority Han Chinese ethnic group, according to government reports.

Uighur exile groups claim that up to 800 people have died in the violence, many of them Uighurs shot or beaten to death by police.

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