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Xinjiang terrorist gets death sentence

By Shao Wei in Urumqi (China Daily)

08:21, March 28, 2012

The ringleader of a terrorist group was sentenced to death on Monday by the Intermediate People's Court of Kashgar prefecture in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

Abdukerim Mamut was found guilty of running a terrorist organization, leading terrorist attacks and murder, according to Tianshannet, a news website run by the regional government's information office.

Under Chinese law, he has the right to appeal the conviction and sentence.

According to trial information posted on the website, Mamut preached religious extremism to a circle of followers and founded a nine-member terrorist organization with himself as ringleader.

They selected targets and planned attacks, including checking the locations.

On the morning of Feb 28, according to the website, Mamut called the members together at his house, handed out knives and axes and instructed the group in the details of an attack to be carried out that day.

At 6 pm, they went to a crowded pedestrian street - Xingfu Road in Yecheng county near Kashgar in the southern Xinjiang - and attacked people with the knives and axes. Thirteen people died and 16 were injured. Two of those people later died.

Police rushed to the scene and Mamut was captured. They shot seven terrorists dead and one was wounded and later died.

One member from the public order joint defense force was killed and four police officers were injured.

Prosecutors presented evidence proving Mamut's guilt, including his confession, the website said.

The defendant's relatives and some of the victims and their families were among those attending the trial.

Zhang Chunxian, the Party chief of the region, recently said the attack was the result of agitation by overseas separatists, extremists and terrorists.

"The social situation in nearby countries and international anti-terrorism activities may have directly or indirectly prompted such incidents," Zhang said on March 7 on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress.

No mercy will be shown to those guilty of violent terrorist attacks in Xinjiang, Zhang said, and the government will not allow terrorists to wave knives at women, children and innocent people.

Yecheng county, in Kashgar prefecture, is about 1,500 km from the region's capital Urumqi. The county neighbors Kashmir region and is populated mostly by Uygur people.

Two similar terrorist attacks occurred in the prefecture in July, killing 14 people and leaving 42 wounded.

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