China sentences eight to death for knife, bomb attacks in west

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 08, 2014 4:42 AM

BEIJING (Reuters) - China sentenced eight people to death for their roles in two knife and bomb attacks this spring in the country's violence-plagued western region of Xinjiang, state media reported on Monday.

In April, a knife and bomb attack at a train station in the region's capital of Urumqi killed three and injured 79. In May, 39 people at a Urumqi market were killed when attackers hurled explosives out of the windows of two SUVs.

Five others were given a sentence of "suspended death", which in China is usually tantamount to life in prison. Four others were given lesser prison sentences, state television said.

Hundreds of people have been killed in the region in the past two years, mostly due to violence between the Muslim Uighur minority and the majority Han Chinese. The government has blamed a series of attacks in other parts of China, including Beijing, on Islamist militants from Xinjiang.

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(Reporting by Megha Rajagopalan and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Ryan Woo)