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Last Updated: Wednesday July 08 2009 15:24 GMT

China riot city 'under control'

Chinese police in Urumqi

The Chinese city of Urumqi is under control after violent riots, according to Chinese authorities.

Lots of people died in the riots, and a local politician said anyone guilty of murder would be harshly punished with the death penalty.

Violence in the region began on Sunday after a protest by a group of people called the Uighurs. At least 156 people have been killed.

It's not clear what happened in the riots to kill so many people.

Journalists are limited on what they can report on in China, and information about the riots has been provided by the government.

The government says most of the dead are Han Chinese, but Uighur groups say most of them are Uighurs.

A map showing Xinjiang in China


Some Uighurs want to have their own country, separate from China.

There have been a number of bombings and some attacks on security forces.

Chinese authorities say the groups that want to separate are terrorists, with links to terror group al-Qaeda.

But Uighur campaigners say the authorities are exaggerating the threat, and using it as an excuse to clamp down on calls for separation.