BEIJING, China (CNN) -- Thousands of Chinese demonstrators crowded the streets of Urumqi in western China on Thursday to protest what they say is a lack of police protection, witnesses said.
Over the past month, more than 400 ethnic majority Han Chinese have been stabbed with tainted syringes by Uyghurs, the Muslim minority, according to local news reports. The stabbings fueled Thursday's protests by Han Chinese in the capital of China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
Many of those attacked with the hypodermic needles were hospitalized, but there have been no reports of deaths, the reports said.
Fifteen suspects have been detained for allegedly carrying out the stabbings, a senior official said Wednesday, according to China's state-run Xinhua news agency. Of the 15, four have been formally charged, Xinhua reported.
A source told CNN that "countless" police and soldiers have deployed to Urumqi and so far, the demonstrations have been peaceful.
A local woman told CNN that the stabbings were ethnically motivated and that government text messages to citizens have warned that the syringes contained an unknown disease....
Previously at Atlas: The Netherlands: Muslim [Uighurs] Attack Chinese Embassy (Germany ...