Continued unrest in the western China region of Xinjiang led President Hu Jintao to return to Beijing from Italy where he was to take part in the G8 summit today, AP reported. New violence spread through Urumqi, the region’s capital, on Tuesday only hours after city officials told media that the situation was returning to normal. Han Chinese men marched through the streets wielding knives, clubs, shovels and steel pipes, smashing windows of Muslim restaurants, attacking those who appeared to be Muslim and clashing with riot police. The Chinese were responding to riots by the city’s Muslim Uighur population that have resulted in at least 156 deaths, the victims of which are said to be mostly Han Chinese. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called for restraint in the Chinese response to Uighur riots.
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