The death toll in ethnic clashes in Xingjiang region of China has gone up to 184, said state run media in its first ever account of death toll since the violence broke out.
According to the official Xinhua News Agency, of these 184 casualties, 137 belonged to the dominant Han ethnic group and out of remaining 47, 45 were Uighur men and 1 Uighur woman and 1 Hui Muslim.
Previously, death toll was 156. The Xinhua did not provide any details on the newly reported deaths, including if any one of them were from Tuesday clashes when men seeking revenge for the original Uighur-led protest that turned violent marched through the streets with clubs and cleavers, trying to push past police guarding minority neighborhoods.
Nearly a week after the rioting began, paramilitary police carrying automatic weapons and riot shields blocked some roads leading to the largely Muslim Uighur district of the city Saturday, and groups of 30 marched along the road chanting slogans encouraging ethnic unity.
Some shops were still closed, and a police van blared public announcements in the Uighur language urging residents to oppose activist Rebiya Kadeer, a 62-year-old Uighur businesswoman who lives in exile in the US, whom China says instigated the riots. She has denied it.
Protests continued Friday after a petite Muslim woman began complaining that the public washrooms were closed at a crowded mosque – the most important day of the week for Islamic worship. Muslims perform required ablutions, or washing, before prayer.