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    Armed policemen stand guard near the site of an explosion in Urumqi, northwest China's Xinjiang region, Thursday, May 22, 2014

    China's Court Sentences Eight to Death for Xinjiang Terrorist Acts

    Andy Wong
    Asia & Pacific
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    China's Court in northwest Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region has sentenced eight people to death for two terror attacks earlier this year.

    MOSCOW, December 8 (Sputnik), Ekaterina Blinova — Reportedly, the terrorists had ties to the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, a radical Islamist organization. The Intermediate People's Court in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region has handed out the death penalty to eight people for two bombings, which resulted in the deaths of 46 people, in the far western region of Xinjiang, inhabited by the Uyghur minority.

    "The two defendants who committed the attack at the railway station on April 30th are convicted of homicide as well as organizing, leading and participating in a terrorist organization. Separately, six suspects were handed the death penalty for planting another attack with explosions at an open market on May 22rd," China Central Television, the state-run broadcaster reported.

    Terrorist attacks have been mainly carried out against governmental targets: police stations, military checkpoints and government buildings. However, Uyghur radicals have also included civilian targets, stabbing people with knives as well as conducting bombings at train stations and market places.
    "Violence linked to Xinjiang has killed about 400 people in and outside the region over the past 20 months," the Associated Press reported.

    In an incident that took place in April 2014, perpetrators armed with knives set off an explosion at the Urumqi train station on the last day of Chinese President Xi Jinping's trip to the region. The explosion claimed the life of one civilian, while 79 were seriously injured. Two attackers died during the assault. The next terror act occurred in May, when assailants killed 39 and injured 90 at a market in Urumqi. In October, China's court sentenced several radicals to death for an armed attack against police in July that claimed the lives of 100.

    China Central Television states that the radicals behind the attacks had certain ties to the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, the Uyghur radical Islamist organization.

    Xinjiang has long been known for its separatist movements. In response, China's top leadership "has made some adjustments" to its ethnic policies in the region. For instance, it has provided free high school education for Uyghurs in southern Xinjiang and promised employment "for at least one member of each household," the Associated Press reported.

    Related:

    Terrorist Attack Kills 15 in China’s Xinjiang: Reports
    Pakistan Vows to Assist China in Fighting Xinjiang Extremists
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