|Xinjiang returns to normal despite police shootings(07/14/09)|
URUMQI, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Xinjiang is slowly returning to normal more than a week after the deadly riot in the far western Chinese region, despite police shootings and sporadic tension in the capital city of Urumqi on Monday.
According to the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region government, police shot dead two people and injured another in an attempt to stop them from attacking one person.
The three people were attacking the fourth person with clubs and knives at 2:55 p.m. near the People's Hospital at Jiefang Nanlu. All four people involved were of the Uygur ethnic group.
Police on patrol fired warning shots before shooting at the three suspects. Two died at the scene and the injured person was rushed to the People's Hospital.
The general situation in Xinjiang seemed to be improving, since traffic jams reappeared Monday on the major streets of Urumqi, indicating a return of normality to the city.
This was also in stark contrast to the light traffic shortly after the riot on July 5 that left 184 people dead and 1,680 more injured.
"I hadn't expected so many people and cars on the roads," said Hu Wenguang, a resident of Urumqi. "It took me more than 20 minutes to drive to work, double the time of last week."
"I feel that social order is returning to normal," said a woman surnamed Gao, who had just returned to Urumqi from Kuqa in mid-west Xinjiang.
"Traffic jams are usually annoying, but I'm now pleased to see it."
The authorities on Monday reopened the square in front of Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar, the country's largest mosque, a week after police shut it in the wake of a small riot.
The 29 photograph vendors on the square had returned Monday, although there were fewer tourists.
Amyna, 61, a photograph seller, said she earned only 15 yuan (2.2 U.S. dollars) Monday, compared with 80 to 100 yuan a day normally for the time of year.
Ahmatjan, another photograph vendor, said he lost at least 1,500 yuan after the square was closed.
"I hope that more tourists will come to Kashgar and we will live a peaceful and better life," he said.
The Urumqi International Bazaar, one of the hardest-hit areas in the riot, has gradually resumed business and some traffic controls have been lifted as of Monday noon.
Some residents of Uygur ethnic group said they felt much safer now than days before and they hope tourists from both home and abroad could visit the bazaar without any safety concerns.
A senior Xinjiang education official said Monday the region's annual college recruitment has not been disrupted by the July 5 violence.
"The recruitment, which started on July 6, is going on smoothly," said Han Chunxi, director of the college student recruitment office in Xinjiang.
He said among all the 164,000 Xinjiang students who sat the national college entrance examination in June, about 99,000 will be recruited.
Local people have been ordered since Sunday to always carry their identity cards or driver's licenses for police checks when they go out in Urumqi.
Police will take away for interrogation anyone who does not have a card, the Urumqi Public Security Bureau said in a notice.
Citizens are also banned from shouting slogans, posting banners, distributing leaflets or gathering for lectures in city streets or public venues, the notice said.
On Sunday, three youngsters of Uygur ethnic group saved a Han senior citizen from drowning in Aketao County in southern Xinjiang.
"People of different ethnic groups should be one family," said Tulafu, one of the youngsters.