Four on trial for deadly China knife attack

Carnage dubbed by state media as "China's 9/11" left dozens dead and 140 wounded at Kunming train station in March.

    Four on trial for deadly China knife attack
    Rights groups blame unrest in Xinjiang on cultural and religious repression of Uighurs [File: AFP]

    Four people who have been accused of orchestrating a knife attack that killed dozens of people at a Chinese train station are on trial, court officials say.

    The March 1 carnage in Kunming, southwestern China, that saw more than 140 people wounded, was dubbed "China's 9/11" by state-run media.

    The suspects, whose names appear to identify them as members of the Uighur minority, are accused of "leading a terrorist group" which planned and executed the attack, Kunming's Intermediate Court said on a verified microblog account.

    State prosecutors said three of the suspects were arrested while attempting to cross China's border, the account stated.

    Al Jazeera World - The Uighurs: External Exile

    The other accused took part in the attack, along with at least four others whom the police shot dead at the scene, prosecutors said.

    China blamed the attack on "separatists" from the resource-rich far western region of Xinjiang, where dozens have died in clashes between locals and security forces over the last year.

    Fighters from Xinjiang were also accused of organising an explosive attack in the regional capital Urumqi which killed 31 people in May, and a suicide car crash in Beijing's Tiananmen Square last year.

    Rights groups blame unrest in Xinjiang on cultural and religious repression of Uighurs, who sometimes attempt to escape China and seek asylum in Southeast Asia.

    China's courts have a near-100 percent conviction rate and the death penalty is regularly handed down in similar cases.

    China last month announced the executions of eight people for "terrorist attacks", including three it described as "masterminding" the car crash in Tiananmen Square.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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