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Three get death for Tiananmen attack

Beijing, June 16 (Reuters): China sentenced three persons to death today over a deadly attack at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square last October, state television reported, an incident blamed by the government on Islamist militants.

One attacker was given a life sentence, and four others received jail terms ranging from five to 20 years. Five persons were killed and 40 hurt when a car ploughed into a crowd at the northern edge of Tiananmen Square and burst into flames. Those killed included two bystanders and three people in the car.

Footage of the trial on state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) showed suspects in orange vests at a Xinjiang courthouse.

The court in Urumqi, the capital of the western region of Xinjiang, sentenced Husanjan Wuxur, Yusup Umarniyaz and Yusup Ahmat to death for organising and leading a terrorist group and using dangerous methods to endanger public security, state media reported.

Two others, who received sentences of life and 20 years in prison respectively, were charged with joining a terrorist group and using dangerous methods to endanger public security. Three more were sentenced to jail terms ranging from five to 10 years for the former charge.

The suspects formed a “terrorist group” in 2011 and plotted violent acts, CCTV reported. Between December 2012 and the following September, they acquired firearms and explosives and plotted to travel to Beijing to set off a deadly explosion. Last October, members of the group travelled to Beijing and raised money from supporters to buy the car that would be driven to Tiananmen Square.

 
 
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