Beijing: China has executed eight militants from the restive Xinjiang province including three who masterminded a suicide attack in Tiananmen Square here last year, killing three people and wounding 39 others.
The executions took place after Supreme People`s Court upheld their death sentences, state-run news agency Xinhua reported today.
The crimes involved five cases including the terrorist attack at the iconic Forbidden City in the Tiananmen Square in Beijing, seizing of guns from police in Aksu, illegal manufacturing of explosives and murder of civilian in Kashgar, and the establishment of terrorist organisation, murder of government officials and incineration of checkpoint in Hotan.
The news of the executions were released by the official media late last night and television showed all of them facing trial.
Xinjiang, where the native Uygur Muslims were restive over the increasing settlements of Hans from other provinces faced increasing attacks stated to have been organised by the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), an al-Qaeda backed organisation, which gained traction in the province bordering Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) and Afghanistan.
Last year the attacks spilled out of Xinjiang and grew most violent with militants targeting crowded areas like railway stations where waiting passengers were hacked with cleavers and daggers.
The eight executed persons included Huseyin Guxur, Yusup Wherniyas and Yusup Ehmet, who masterminded the last year`s terrorist attack in the Square.
In the first suicide attack carried out by militants outside Xinjiang, a mother, son and daughter-in-law drove an SUV loaded with inflammable material at a high speed into rows of tourists at the Forbidden City in Tiananmen Square.
The vehicle went up in flames at the entrance of the Forbidden City.
Three people were killed and 39 others injured in the attack.