The Communist Party chief in the city of Urumqi as well as the head of police in the northwestern region of Xinjiang were sacked on Saturday following anti-government demonstrations by thousands of Han Chinese, the Wall Street Journal reported. Authorities said five people died and 14 were injured in the demonstrations. State media gave no reason for the removal of Li Zhi, the party chief, and Liu Yaohua, head of police. However, the sackings came a day after China’s public security minister was dispatched to Urumqi with a brief to get local officials to “restore social order as soon as possible.” Tens of thousands of people took to the streets last week after a spate of stabbings by assailants armed with syringes. There is public concern that protection has been inadequate since ethnic riots killed nearly 200 people in Urumqi in July.
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