China deployed many troops including tanks and other armored vehicles in Ürümqi, the capital of Uyghuristan (Xinjiang-Uyghur), annexed to China but ethnically distinct.
Around 19:00 Beijing time, thousands of heavily armed soldiers of the so-called Armed Police of the Pople were deployed in the Central Asian city, occupying the central square. I have never seen anything like that before, declared a local.
The deployment ended an hour and a half later.
It appears to be scare tactics as the 4th anniversary of the Uyghur revolt of 2009 approaches. Recently some 100 activists attacked, armed with knives, a police station in the historical city of Hotan. 35 people were killed, although it is unclear to which side they belonged to.
Four years ago, brutal riots confronted the native Uyghurs with the Han colonists, which make up some 40% of the population, resulting in a death toll of 200, including the victims of police repression.