Urumqi (China), July 7 (ANI): The death toll from riots in the western Chinese cities of Urumqi and Kashgar has risen to 156.
The official Xinhua news agency quoted senior government officials as saying that Beijing would take firm steps to bring the troubled desert province of Xinjiang under control.
According to The Telegraph calm prevails over Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang province, after 20,000 police, troops and firefighters reclaimed the streets from rioters who had burnt and smashed vehicles and shops, and clashed with security forces over Sunday night.
Police road blocks sealed off the centre of the city to traffic and bars and late night restaurants, usually humming with activity, all remained closed.
A clash between the Han Chinese and Uighur communities over the past three days has created an atmosphere of instability and insecurity, which the authorities have vowed to end.
The White House issued a statement saying it was "deeply concerned" by reports of deaths caused by violence in Xinjiang and urged "everyone" in the province to exercise restraint.
Xinhua said the attacks were a "pre-empted, organised violent crime, instigated and directed from abroad and carried out by outlaws in the country." (ANI)