Four get death sentence for China terror attacks

September 15th, 2011 - 3:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Sep 15 (IANS) Four people involved in deadly terror attacks in China’s Xinjiang Uygur region in July have been sentenced to death, a media report said Thursday.

About 20 people were killed and more than 40 were wounded in the terrorist strike.

The intermediate people’s courts of Hotan and Kashgar Tuesday found the men guilty of masterminding and engaging in terrorist organisations, illegally making explosives, and being involved in murder and arson, Xinhua reported citing Xinjiang-based website tianshannet.com.

The court Tuesday also sentenced two accomplices to 19 years each in jail.

On July 18, rioters attacked a police station in Hotan city, killing four people and injuring four.

On July 30, two people hijacked a truck after killing its driver and drove it into a crowded street in Xinjiang. They jumped out of the truck wielding knives and hacked stunned bystanders.

A day later, July 31, a group of people set fire to a restaurant and randomly attacked civilians with knives in Kashgar. Police opened fire and shot dead five suspects.

At least 13 people died and 44 were injured in the two days of attacks.

The government blamed the acts of terror on religious extremists of the “East Turkestan Islamic Movement” (ETIM) trained in Pakistan.

Xinjiang has a population of more than 21 million people. More than half of the peiople are Muslims from 10 ethnic groups, including Uygur, Kirgiz, Kazak and Uzbek.

The region saw deadly ethnic violence between the Han and Uygur communities in 2009, in which nearly 200 people were killed.

The East Turkestan Islamic Movement is a separatist group. The US State Department listed it as a terrorist organisation in 2002, according to independent think tank Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

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