08/05/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Ethic conflicts kills 3 in China

 Over 1000 rioters gathered in a large market on Sunday afternoon in Urumqi, the center of Western China, attacking passers-by, setting fire to vehicles, interrupting traffic on some roads, reportedXinhua, the official news agency. 

At least three Han Chinese were killed and 20 more wounded before the police and military troops closed off the whole Uighur quarter of the city, beating rioters with batons and firehoses. 

The rioting lasted for several hours and dozens of Uighur men were arrested. Early this morning, the local police announced a curfew banning all the traffic in the city till 8 p.m., reported NYT

This was the largest ethic conflict in China after the Tibetan's uprising in March 2008, underscoring the deep frustration of Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking Muslim group, over being ruled by Chinese Communist Party, which is said to suppress Uighurs culture and religion. 

The Chinese government blamed separatist group as usual, especially pointing at Rebiya Kadeer, an Uighurs businesswoman and an activist in the region as the leader behind the riot, according to Xinhua. 

See a picture here.