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Uyghur Man Stabbed To Death In South China

HONG KONG (Reuters) -- A Uyghur man was stabbed to death in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, a sign of lingering tensions after a factory brawl last summer sparked bloody ethnic riots in Xinjiang, a newspaper has said.

Energy-rich Xinjiang, homeland to the Muslim Uyghur people and strategically located in central Asia, has been struck in recent years by bombings, attacks and riots blamed by Beijing on Uyghur separatists demanding an independent "East Turkistan."

The ethnic Uyghur man was attacked by a Han Chinese man in a restaurant in Shenzhen, a city close to Shaoguan in Guangdong province where a massive brawl broke out at a factory between a group of Han Chinese and Uyghur workers from Xinjiang in June, the "South China Morning Post" reported.

The Shaoguan incident triggered serious ethnic rioting in Xinjiang's capital, Urumqi, when Uyghurs attacked Han Chinese, killing at least 197 people.

"I can't say the suspect was targeting Uyghurs. But this is a traumatizing experience for me. We will return to Xinjiang once police finish questioning," the Uyghur owner of the Xinjiang barbeque restaurant was quoted as saying by the paper.

Seven Han Chinese men were arrested and reportedly fired from their jobs afterward.

"The case is very sensitive, especially after the Xinjiang riots last July," a manager of the Hongtaide Property Management Company, where the men had worked, was quoted as saying.

Police in Guangzhou recently detained three people for spreading rumors that a group of Uyghurs had been beaten up.