Page last updated at 12:40 GMT, Monday, 6 July 2009 13:40 UK

Accounts of Xinjiang violence

Protesters gathering on Urumqi street, 5 June 2009
Unrest spread in the Xinjiang capital, Urumqi, on Sunday

Scores of people have died after a protest in China's western region of Xinjiang turned violent.

Some internet and mobile phone services in the area have been blocked, preventing easy communication between people in Xinjiang and the outside world.

Despite these limitations, the BBC has received several accounts of the violence, which we have published below. The BBC has not been able to verify the information they contain, due to the restricted means of communication.

Linuxleio, Urumqi

I am a Han Chinese living in Urumqi city. I witnessed yesterday's violence - it was terrible! I saw a group of Muslim people who had caught two women, hit them until they fell to the ground and then attacked them with knifes.

After I witnessed that, I just wanted to run away, to avoid being captured by them.

Even though there's been some violence in Xinjiang for years, yesterday was the bloodiest and most horrible day I've ever had

That day I was going shopping. I saw hundreds of Muslims assembled in one place. They were looking in the crowd to identify anyone who is Han Chinese. Then they would attack and kill innocent passers-by.

That's the truth behind what they called a peaceful demonstration. They were filled with animosity and hatred against anyone who is not Muslim and does not belong to them. They fired at innocent people who were walking on the road, they fired at buildings until the police came.

After the police arrived and dispersed the crowds, I swear, there were more than 20 innocent people lying on the road. Maybe some were dead, as there was blood around them.

It was a horrible day. Even though there's been some violence in Xinjiang for years, yesterday was the bloodiest and most horrible day I've ever had.

Ankar Kasim, Vancouver, Canada

I am a Uighur currently living in Vancouver, Canada. My cousin, who is in Urumqi, witnessed the brutal oppression of the Uighur protests by the Chinese.

Police on Urumqi street, Xinjiang, 5 June 2009
There was a heavy police presence in Xinjiang over the weekend
The Chinese are censoring all the information and trying to cover up the truth. They have blocked most mobile and internet services. So me and my cousin communicated through MSN messenger.

My cousin won't be in Urumqi for too long because he is being pressured by the Chinese to leave the country.

From what he told me, the military oppression of the peaceful protest really is the largest since the Tiananmen crackdown. The Chinese sent out soldiers with machine guns, police vehicles and tanks - yes, tanks! The police fired indiscriminately on the peaceful protesters, and scores of people died as a result.

The Uighurs were angry over ethnic violence last month in the city of Shaoguan in southern Guangdong province, when Han Chinese beat and killed Uighur workers.

Uighur people are in a great need of help and we ask the international community to condemn China's killing of innocent Uighurs, the assimilation of the Uighur people and the discrimination Uighur people suffer by the Chinese.

Uighurs have no freedom whatsoever, living under the strict, brutal rule of communist China.

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