The trial of three people sentenced to death for their
roles in an October attack on the edge of Tiananmen Square
is seen in this still image taken from video in Urumqi
city. REUTERS/CCTV/via Reuters TV
China today sentenced three people to death over a deadly
attack at Beijing's Tiananmen Square last October, state
television reported, an incident blamed by the government on
One attacker was given a life sentence, and four others
received jail terms ranging from five to 20 years.
Five people 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
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
Last October, members of the group traveled to Beijing and
raised money from supporters to buy the car that would be
driven to Tiananmen Square, CCTV said.
About 400 people attended the public trial, according to the
news report, and footage appeared to show Uighur women in
tears as they watched the proceedings.
All of those sentenced appeared to have ethnic Uighur names.
Xinjiang is the traditional home of the mostly Muslim
Uighurs, and China has blamed previous attacks on separatists
who seek to establish an independent state there called East
China has been on edge since a suicide bombing last month
killed 39 people at a market in Urumqi. In March, 29 people
were stabbed to death at a train station in the southwestern
city of Kunming.
Police in Xinjiang have arrested or tried dozens of suspects
in recent weeks for spreading extremist propaganda,
possessing banned weapons and other crimes.
Knife-wielding attackers in western China wounded four people
in a crowded chess hall in the city of Hotan on Sunday, CCTV
said in a separate report on Monday. Two of the attackers
were killed and a third was arrested.
The motive for Sunday's attack was not immediately clear.
Rights activists and exile groups have charged that the
government's own repressive policies in Xinjiang have sowed
the seeds of unrest, a claim Beijing denies.