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Web extra | What's a Uighur?

* Uighurs are an Asian Muslim minority that predominantly lives today in the Xinjiang region of communist China, a Western Turkic region where, the State Department says, Muslim religious expression and education is tightly restricted. Pronounced Wee-gur; sometimes spelled Uyghur.

* Pronounced: Wee-gurr

* A report to Congress by the Congressional Research Service in May 2005 said the United States had unsuccessfully approached at least nine countries about resettling the 22 Uighurs at Guantánamo Bay Navy Base, Cuba. The nine were Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland and Turkey.

* The Encyclopaedia Britannica estimated there were more than 7.7 million Uighurs in China in the late 20th century, and about 300,000 in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

* China blames Uighur separatists for a series of violent incidents, including bombings beginning in 1997 - and says the violence is why the government strictly controls Muslim religious activity and places of worship.

* An estimated 1,000 Uighurs live in the United States, mostly concentrated around Washington, D.C.

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