China sacks Party boss of strife-torn western city
China sacked the top official of Urumqi, the strife-hit capital of far-west Xinjiang, on Saturday, as the city crept back to an uneasy normality after days of sometimes deadly protests that have inflamed ethnic enmity.
The brief announcement from the official Xinhua news agency did not explain why the city's Communist Party Secretary, Li Zhi, was dismissed and replaced by Zhu Hailun, the head of Xinjiang region's law-and-order committee.
But Li presided over the city during deadly ethnic unrest between Han Chinese and Muslim Uighur residents on July 5 when at least 197 people died, most of them Han killed by Uighurs.
The far-west city has been under heavy security after three days of fresh unrest this week, when thousands of Han Chinese residents protested over a rash of reported syringe stabbings they blamed on Uighurs, a Muslim people who call this region their homeland.
Officials have said five people were killed in protests on Thursday, but have given only fleeting details about them.
The dismissal came as Urumqi returned to something like calm, topping a week that has seen crowds of Han Chinese protesters turn against the region's top Communist officials