Curfew Declared in China's West as Ethnic Tensions Grow

Others warned of vengeance on the part of China's predominant ethnic group, Han Chinese. For example, "Jason," on the popular Chinese search engine, www.baidu.com, wrote, "The blood debt will be repaid. Han compatriots unite and rise up."

Ethnic tensions between the Hans and the minority group have been bubbling in the far western province of Xinjiang for decades. The Uighur population has accused the Han Chinese, who often outnumber them in the urban areas of the Xinjiang region, of marginalizing them. The Uighurs cite among their grievances that the Han Chinese benefit far more from government investment and development.

The protests, which began Sunday, reportedly were set off by a conflict between Han Chinese and Uighur workers at a factory in Guangdong and subsequent accusations by Uighurs of negligence by investigating Chinese officials.

The Associated Press contributed to the reporting of this story.

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