I’m sad to report that an incident in Korla, Xinjiang around 3pm on March 7, 2013 has resulted in the death of at least 4 people, with up to 13 others possibly injured. Reports of a Korla riot are flooding in from Weibo, China’s Twitter-like micro-blogging service, and have now been confirmed by local police.
According to Radio Free Asia:
Chinese authorities in the troubled northwestern region of Xinjiang on Thursday placed a city under security lockdown after deadly violence between ethnic minority Muslim Uyghurs and Han Chinese, police and Uyghur exiles said.
Police said a security clampdown had been imposed following clashes in Korla city in central Xinjiang, confirming an undetermined number of fatalities.
A regional spokesperson quoted by the South China Morning Post confirmed that the death toll was indeed 4 individuals.
Ethnic Clash or Stupid Argument?
Because this is Xinjiang, much of what has happened in Korla will be attributed to ethnic tensions and you’ll likely see news reports that inevitably end with the customary “In 2009, riots in Xinjiang killed nearly 200 people”.
As if these are connected.
An interesting report by Uyghurbiz.net suggests that this was no ethnic riot. Although hatred may have fueled the fire, the fight initially broke out at a downtown video game arcade.
Knives were produced and the afternoon went downhill fast. Both Uyghur and Han died.
————Don’t continue reading if you don’t like blood———–
Bystander Photographs of Korla Riot
If you can’t stand the sight of blood, don’t look any further in this article. The following are photos from cell phones of the incident and the aftermath.
Further Reading on Clashes in Xinjiang
- Is it Still Safe to Travel to Xinjiang?
- The Effects of Massive Riots in Xinjiang: Before and After
- What Really Happened at the 2011 Hotan Riots
- The Urumqi Riots of 2009 – from Inside the Province
- A Visit to Xinjiang’s Kanas Lake and Keketuohai - October 7, 2015
- Celebrating Qurban in Urumqi, Xinjiang - September 24, 2015
- Buzkashi Explained: Mysterious Rules & Traditions - September 19, 2015
- Exploring Tashkorgan and the Tajik - September 12, 2015
- Biking China’s Karakoram Highway Pt 1 - September 2, 2015
- Self-Publishing a Travel Guide: My Experience - June 3, 2015
- Evolution of Xinjiang Tourism: A Photo Essay - May 19, 2015
- Check it out! The New Xinjiang Travel Guide - April 24, 2015
- Visiting Xinjiang’s Jurassic Park (aka “Tianshan Safari Park”) - April 9, 2015
- One Man’s Journey to the Center of Asia - March 19, 2015