Terrorist leaders sentenced to death in China

Two people from a terror gang that carried out a violent attack on April 23 in Selibuya township, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, which left 15 dead were sentenced to death on Monday in Kashgar for organising the terror group, intentional homicide and illegally producing explosives.

Five suspects, who were arrested after the attack, were tried in Kashgar Intermediate Court. One person received a sentence of life imprisonment for being a member of the gang and illegally producing explosives while two other gang members were given sentences of nine years plus six months and nine years, the regional government said on Tuesday.

Police in Xinjiang said on April that 25 suspects belonging to the terrorist group carried out the deadly attack. Six were shot and killed at the scene, one died later in hospital and the remainder were arrested. It's unclear when the other suspects will be tried.

The court said an investigation showed the five suspects who included Musar Asar, one of the key members of the terrorist group, had carried out illegal religious activates promoting religious extremism with other members since March 2008.

The group watched and listened to materials from abroad relating to religious extremism and terrorism. They also purchased equipment to conduct physical training. As well as making long knives for the attacks, they also made and tested 10 explosives.

On March 8, Musar and other gang members formed the group to "do something big" in a crowded public area in Kashgar during the summer. Musar was in charge of making the explosives.

Around 1 pm on April 23, community workers and police officers made a routine visit to a house where the gang members were making explosives. They reported the suspicious activity and waited for backup. A gang member slipped out of the house and informed the gang leader, Kasmu Memet, and Musar. Kasmu was killed in the attacks.

Musar felt the group might be compromised and he and other gang members, including Rehman Wuper, launched the attack on community workers and police officers with long knives.

They killed three female community workers and forced nine others, including the head of the Selibuya police station, into a room, which they set fire to. All nine people in the room burned to death.

After the raid on the house, Musar and the others ran out of the house and attacked the backup forces. One police officer was killed at the scene. Another police officer and a government worker were seriously injured and died later in hospital.

Both Musar and Rehman were sentenced to death.

Usman Memet, another group member who helped move and hide the explosives after the attack, was given a jail sentence of nine years and six months.

The court said the five suspects all pleaded guilty and the trial was carried out in the Uygur language.