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China Intensifies 'Anti-Terror Crackdown' in Xinjiang

  • VOA News

FILE - A Uighur man looks on as a truck carrying paramilitary policemen travel along a street during an anti-terrorism oath-taking rally in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.

FILE - A Uighur man looks on as a truck carrying paramilitary policemen travel along a street during an anti-terrorism oath-taking rally in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.

Chinese state media said Thursday 81 people have been sentenced as part of an anti-terrorism crackdown in the far northwestern region of Xinjiang.

China Central Television said the charges include organizing and participating in terrorism, murder and arson. It said nine people were sentenced to death.

Earlier, the state-run Xinjiang Net website said Thursday the suspects were detained in Urumqi, where a suicide attack last month at a market killed 39 people.

It said the suspects were charged with crimes including inciting separatism, inciting ethnic hatred and disturbing social order.

In recent weeks, Chinese authorities have arrested hundreds of people in Xinjiang as part of a crackdown seen by some as repressive.

Last month, authorities held a rally in a Xinjiang stadium for the public sentencing of 55 people found guilty of charges such as terrorism and separatism.

Beijing announced a yearlong security crackdown following the Urumqi attack, which was the latest in a series of violent incidents in Xinjiang.

The attacks are seen by some as the work of Uighurs, a mostly Muslim ethnic minority group that is native to Xinjiang.

Many Uighurs in China often complain of religious and cultural discrimination in favor of the Han majority group.

China says its policies are not responsible for the increased violence. It instead says it is fighting foreign-backed separatists.

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