A Chinese official says that five people have been killed and 14 wounded during protests over security in the restive western city of Urumqi.

Deputy Mayor Zhang Hong reported the casualties at a news conference in the city, capital of the western region of Xinjiang. He said they died Thursday.

Thousands of Han Chinese flooded the streets in angry protests for a second day Friday to demand increased security in the city after a string of bizarre attacks of needle stabbings that appear to be ethnically motivated.

Police used tear gas and public appeals to break up crowds marching on government offices and called on authorities to punish those responsible for ethnic rioting in early July that left 197 people dead.