Rebiya Kadeer, the chairwoman of the World Uygur Congress, said many Uygur demonstrators in Xinjiang had been shot or beaten to death by police, citing witnesses' accounts. She also said some protesters in Urumqi were crushed under armoured vehicles on Sunday evening by troops, and more than 100 people were killed in the southern city of Kashgar yesterday. However, witnesses contacted by the South China Morning Post in both cities were unable to verify her claims. Dozens of witnesses of Sunday's riot in Urumqi said they had not seen armoured vehicles entering the crowds or heard any gun shot through the night. They told the Post that the officers who arrived to restore order were mostly carrying police clubs and shields. Uygurs who took part in the riot were mostly using weapons such as knives, clubs or stones, they said. Pictures and video clips that appeared in the mainland and international media offered no evidence the troops had opened fire on the protesters, although sporadic reports mentioned police might have injured some Uygurs. Neither did a reporter find evidence of claims about killings in Kashgar - there was no large gathering as of yesterday. Armed police were visible, but there were no reports of violence. Within hours of the violence on Sunday, Beijing was blaming Ms Kadeer, saying she made a call to relatives in Urumqi that proved her involvement in the demonstration. Wang Lequan, Communist Party chief in Xinjiang, called for a concerted effort to tackle 'criminals' and 'hostile forces' abroad in a televised conference yesterday. 'The family members of those who were involved in the violence are innocent. We should be cool-headed and not be duped by the enemies. Our real targets should be those hostile forces, both at home and abroad ... rather than our own brothers and sisters of different ethnic backgrounds.' Ms Kadeer, in a statement released yesterday, denied involvement, saying she had only called to ask her relatives to stay at home that day. She said the demonstration was a reflection of the Uygurs' anger against long-term Chinese suppression of East Turkestan - the name pro-independence activists give to a region of Central Asia including most of Xinjiang. According to the website of the World Uygur Congress, it promotes the right of the Uygur people to use peaceful, non-violent and democratic means to determine the political future of East Turkestan. The government jailed Ms Kadeer for eight years in 2000 for leaking state secrets, but granted her medical probation to the United States after she served five years. Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang sought to avoid the question of whether Ms Kadeer's alleged involvement with the riot amounted to a violation of the terms of her probation and whether the government would seek to extradite her. 'She promised not to engage in activities harmful to the country ... but what she has done so far this year has proved she is lying to the world.'