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China Sentences 9 More in Restive Xinjiang

  • VOA News

Urumqi, Xinjiang province, China

Urumqi, Xinjiang province, China

China is continuing its anti-terror campaign in the violence-hit western region of Xinjiang, sentencing nine more people to jail at a public rally.

State media say the jail sentences ranged from three to 14 years for offenses including preaching jihad and inciting separatism and ethnic hatred.

The People's Daily said 3,000 people attended the mass sentencing, which authorities are using to try to win public support for their crackdown.

An official in Qapqal county, where the sentencing was held, called for a "people's war" against terrorism, saying citizens should "resolutely smash the evil plots of the enemy."

Authorities last week announced they arrested almost 380 suspects and convicted over 315 people during the first month of the year-long security crackdown in Xinjiang.

Around 200 people have died in unrest over the past year in Xinjiang, many in a series of increasingly complex attacks targeting civilians.

China says it is fighting foreign-backed fighters who are trying to establish a radical Islamic state in Xinjiang, which is home to the mostly Muslim Uighur minority group.

Many Uighurs say they are the victims of state-sanctioned discrimination and repression, including restrictions on Muslim religious practices and favoritism toward the Han majority.

The latest instance of violence occurred Sunday near Hotan city, where police shot and killed 13 people who had driven into and set off explosives at a police station.