News Hour > Homepage > News > 

Shops smashed in Urumqi riot

2009-07-07 13:09 BJT

Special Report: 7.5 Xinjiang Urumqi Riots |

Watch Video>>

During Sunday's violence in Urumqi, a huge number of shops were smashed and burned. One of the workers in a supermarket recalls the ordeal.

During Sunday's violence in Urumqi,a huge number of shops were smashed and burned.One of the workers in a supermarket recalls the ordeal.
During Sunday's violence in Urumqi,a huge number of shops 
were smashed and burned.One of the workers in a supermarket 
recalls the ordeal.

The supermarket worker, surnamed Zhao, says a huge number of rioters gathered outside the supermarket around 8 pm on Sunday. He says they used huge stones to try to smash the emergency exit.

He says all of the supermarket workers were told to go to the basement for safety reasons.

Zhao Kai, a supermarket worker, said, "After breaking into the supermarket, the rioters grabbed food, water and everything they could take away and then burned the supermarket at around 10 pm."

He says at around 1 am, all of the 106 people huddling in the supermarket basement were all safely evacuated with the help of armed police.

It is estimated direct economic losses for the supermarket will total over 600 thousand yuan.

The supermarket worker says he thinks the riot was planned and organized. He also says the rioters used various items to commit their violence.

Meanwhile, other witnesses and shop owners say the rioters took to the street, carrying knives, wooden baton, bricks and stones.

After a few minutes, nothing was left in the stores.

A smashed shop owner said, "It's a disaster, it's a tragedy, tragedy."

Many civilians and armed police officers were injured in the rioting. Cars and shops were also smashed and burned.