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China sentences three people to death over Tiananmen attack

Three people have been sentenced to death in connection with a deadly attack at Beijing's Tiananmen Square earlier this year. The government has blamed the attack on Muslim separatists.

The Intermediate People's Court in Urumqi, the capital of the western China region of Xinjiang sentenced the three suspects to death after finding them guilty of organizing and leading a terrorist group and endangering public security.

Specifically, they were accused of providing funds to carry out the attack, which killed five people.

Five other suspects were also sentenced in connection with the attack, including one who received a life sentence for joining a terrorist group and endangering public security, according to Chinese state media.

All eight suspects had been arrested within days of the October 28 attack, in which a Philippine tourist and a visitor from elsewhere in China were killed and dozens of others injured after a car crashed into a crowd of people before bursting into flames. The three occupants of the car were also killed.

Ethnic Uighurs blamed

The authorities in Beijing have blamed ethnic Uighurs for this and other acts of violence that have hit China in recent months.

Last month,

39 people were killed and many more wounded

in a suicide bombing in Urumqi. In March

29 people were stabbed to death and close to 150 others wounded

in an attack in the southern city of Kunming.

Under China's justice system, death sentences are automatically forwarded to the Supreme People's Court for appeal, however such rulings are rarely overturned.

pfd/kms (AP, Reuters, AFP)

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