China charged four people in connection with a deadly attack at a railway station in the southwestern city of Kunming in March, state media said on Monday. This case helped spur a crackdown on what officials have called an upsurge in militant violence.
The government has said eight knife-wielding militants from the restive western region of Xinjiang launched a premeditated attack at Kunming station in Yunnan province in which 29 people were killed and 140 injured. Police shot four of the attackers dead.
The Kunming attack was one of the single deadliest incidents attributed by the government to militants. A suicide bombing in May killed 39 people at a market in Xinjiang’s capital, Urumqi. Authorities had laid out the charges in March, but have now formally filed them, paving the way for an imminent trial. The four surviving defendants are likely to be given the death penalty.
Footage from Kunming Railway Station on day of attacks, March 1, 2014
Four charged in Kunming attacks, 113 sentenced on terror crimesFILE: Kunming City, Yunnan Province, SW China - March 1, 2014
Courts in Xinjiang had sentenced 113 people to jail terms ranging from 10 years to life for terrorist activities and other crimes, the Xinjiang government said. Those sentenced were accused of crimes such as “being involved in organizing, leading and participating in a terrorist organization, inciting ethnic hatred and ethnic discrimination”, bigamy, drug trafficking, robbery among other crimes.
At least 380 people have been detained in the last month in a sweeping crackdown on violence in Xinjiang. Around 200 people have died in unrest in Xinjiang in the past year or so, the government says, including 13 people shot dead by police in an attack on a police station in mid-June.
Report compiled with information from Reuters.