URUMQI, China, (AFP) - Thousands of people Friday tried to get out of Urumqi in Chinas Xinjiang region after deadly ethnic unrest with many mosques ordered shut for the Juma (Friday) Muslim prayers. Authorities said they had put on extra bus services out of the regional capital, but demand outstripped seats and scalpers told AFP they were charging up to five times the normal price for tickets. It is just too risky to stay here. We are scared of the violence, said Xu Qiugen, 23, a construction worker from central China who had been living in Urumqi for five years and had bought a bus ticket out with his wife. The death toll from violence in the region has risen to 184, the official Xinhua news agency reported Friday, quoting the regional government. The leader of the exiled Uighur community from Chinas northwestern Xinjiang region said Friday that thousands may have died in violence in recent days. According to unconfirmed reports we get on the ground, now the number is up to 1,000 or some say 3,000, Rebiya Kadeer, the Washington-based head of the World Uighur Congress, told a news conference at the US Capitol alongside supporters in Congress. Tensions mounted as thousands of Han Chinese took to the streets wielding knives, poles, meat cleavers and other makeshift weapons vowing vengeance against the Uighurs. AFP witnessed Han Chinese mobs assaulting two Uighurs in separate attacks, and Uighurs alleged many other beatings took place, but the extent of the violence was unclear. With ethnic tensions still at flashpoint and security forces saturating the city, many mosques were ordered shut for Juma prayers. The government said there would be no Friday prayers, said a Uighur man named Tursun outside the Hantagri mosque, one of the oldest in the city, as about 100 police carrying machineguns and batons stood guard. Heavy security was also in force throughout the historic city of Kashgar, about 1,000km from Urumqi where smaller-scale ethnic unrest flared last year, AFP journalists witnessed. Foreign journalists were ordered out of the city, preventing them from reporting events after exiled Uighur leaders said this week that Chinese security forces may have killed 100 people there.