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Taiwanese tourist groups in Xinjiang are safe, unaffected by riots

Jul 06, 2009

Ninety-one Taiwanese tourists currently in western China's Xinjiang province were safe after riots erupted in the capital city of Urumqi Sunday night and reportedly left 140 people dead and 828 others injured.

"The 91 tourists belong to four different groups, including one currently in Urumqi, " a Tourism Bureau official said Monday.

The official also said that another local tour group left for the area July 4, but has yet to reach Xinjiang province.

The official said the tour groups that have already left will follow their original itinerary while those that have yet to depart will decide on whether to go as scheduled or offer refunds to tourists based on the government's red, orange and yellow travel alerts.

Lin Chien-yi, president of Taipei-based Joan Tour, said the tour's 31-member group arrived in Urumqi Monday and did not come into contact with any rioting.

Its movements were restricted, however, because of a police lockdown of the city, resulting in changes to their itinerary.

The group is scheduled to stay in Urumqi for one night and then return to Taiwan via Xian July 8.

Joan Tour has three more groups set to depart for Xinjiang starting July 11, with the July 20 group a particularly large group composed of 120 members.

"We will monitor the situation to see if we will go as scheduled," Lin said.

Taiwanese tourist groups in Xinjiang are safe, unaffected by riots
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