World Bulletin / News Desk
A court in China's restive far western region of Xinjiang (East Turkestan) sentenced three ethnic Uighurs to death on Thursday for what it called acts of "violent terrorism", including murder and being part of a terrorist organisation, state media reported.
One other defendant was sentenced to 25 years in jail for his part in a June outbreak of violence, the official Xinhua news agency said.
All four were ethnic Uighurs, judging by their names.
China labelled the June incident, in which 35 people died, a "terrorist attack" by a gang engaged in "religious extremist activities".
It was the deadliest outbreak of violence in the troubled region since July 2009, when nearly 200 people were killed in violence against Muslim Uighurs by ethnic Chinese and security forces in the region's capital Urumqi.
Violent discontent among the region's indigenous Muslim Uighurs had for some time been confined to southern districts.
Many of the Turkic-speaking Uighur people chafe at Chinese government restrictions on their culture, language and religion. China claims it grants Uighurs wide-ranging freedoms and accuses extremists of separatism.
Many rights groups say China has long overplayed the threat posed to justify its tough controls in energy-rich Xinjiang, which lies strategically on the borders of Central Asia, India and Pakistan.Last Mod: 13 Eylül 2013, 11:44