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Special> Focus on Xinjiang> Latest News
UPDATED: July 16, 2009
Fresh Grief in Urumqi as People Rebuild

Yan Cailu, who was wounded in the July 5 riot, calls his relatives as he leaves the hospital in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, on July 15 (XINHUA)

The death toll from the violence that rocked northwest China's Urumqi city 10 days ago hit 192 Wednesday, bringing fresh grief to the population still trying to rebuild social cohesion.

Twelve people who were injured in the July 5 riot were discharged from the Urumqi PLA 23rd Hospital on Wednesday. Most had been beaten with clubs and bricks.

Yan Cailu, one of those discharged, called his family in the eastern Anhui Province on his mobile phone to break the news.

"They have been worrying about me," he said. "Now they can finally breathe a sigh of relief."

Yan was one of the 336 people injured in the riot who had been discharged from hospital as of Wednesday morning. Altogether 810 are still in hospitals in Urumqi, according to a statement from the city government on Wednesday.

The number of the injured people in critical condition has decreased from Sunday's 74 to 25, the statement said.

It said DNA technology had been used to identify 108 bodies of those killed in the riot. Sixty-three of the 72 construction sites which suspended work in wake of the riot had resumed as of 2 p.m..

Celebrities have been working to heal the trauma of the city.

Dao Lang, a pop singer who lived in Urumqi for many years, is busy recording a song entitled One Family with other local singers.

"I hope the music could bring back memories of those good old days," he said. "I hope people can have a face up to the incident with more peaceful mentality in future."

Some people are still looking for their family members missing in the deadly riot.

Wang Yonggang, 34, have been in Urumqi for ten days, looking for his wife who ran a shop in the city and had been traceless since July 5.

"We were planning to have a baby," said Wang. "I will go on looking for her."

In Tianshan District in Urumqi, a vehicle shop that was torched and vandalized has resumed business after a quick redecoration.

Consumers walked around the spacious exhibition room, where dozens of new cars were displayed.

Hundreds of rioters had torched 27 cars and smashed up another 24 at the shop, affiliated to Xinjiang Tongtong Commerce and Trade Company.

"We have sold nine vehicles since Sunday when we resumed business," said Ma Dehua, marketing supervisor of the company. "Although we lost several million yuan in the violence, things are getting better. We believe the government will help us to pull through and we will help ourselves too."

Journalists are gradually leaving Urumqi with only 30 registered journalists with 20 news organizations in the press center at the downtown Haide Hotel on Wednesday. Less than 20 journalists could be seen in the center editing dispatches or surfing the Internet in the afternoon.

More than 100 overseas media organizations and 40 domestic news swarmed into the city after the riot.

"Our workload has been decreasing. We used to do three stories a day a few days after the riot. But now we only do one story about the city every day," said a journalist with Hong Kong TVB. "No news is good news, anyway."

Residents were also trying to resume normality after the bloodshed.

Harry Potter fans, mostly children accompanied by adults, and high school and university students on the summer break, turned out at cinemas Wednesday for the long-awaited film.

Showings of the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth installment of the wizard series, in Xinjiang were delayed to midday Wednesday for safety reasons, while cinemas in other parts of China released it at midnight as scheduled.

Posters of Harry Potter and a huge scroll reading "Against separation, safeguarding unity" hung side by side on the outside walls of a cinema close to the center of the bloody violence on July 5.

(Xinhua News Agency July 15, 2009)

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