A police warning about syringe stabbings led to hundreds of people reporting attacks with needles in early September, when schools opened for the fall semester after bloody ethnic riots by minority Muslim Uighurs in July.
About 600 people reported they were attacked with needles, often on crowded buses, but only just over 100 showed any sign of injury. Parental anxiety about sending children to school alone may have contributed to the reports of attacks, many on women and children.
The city is now trying to contain outbreaks of the H1N1 flu, which Chinese health authorities have warned can spread quickly among children at schools.
Han Chinese took to the streets on September 3, demanding the resignation of regional party secretary Wang Lequan for failing to ensure their safety. Many in the crowds cited having to accompany their children to school and take other precautions as part of the reason for their dissatisfaction, in addition to concern about a lack of information on trials for the rioters.