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BEIJING, July 11. /ITAR-TASS/. Chinese courts in the north-west of the country sent 32 people to prison for terms ranging between four years and life imprisonment after finding them guilty of spreading extremist-related audio and video and setting up terrorist groups, Xinhua news agency reported on Friday.
Three out of the 32 people convicted, who are all ethnic Uyghurs, were sentenced to life in prison, while the rest were handed down prison terms between four and 15 years.
China has been conducting a large-scale counter-terrorist raid in the northwestern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region since late May clamping down on over 40 terrorist groups and arresting some 400 suspects.The country’s volatile Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is populated by Uyghur Muslims and the titular Chinese nation of Han. Militants from the Islamic East Turkestan Movement stand for the region’s secession from China and were behind a series of terrorist acts in the region targeting law enforcers and civilians.
May 22, the region was hit by the bloodiest terrorist attack over the recent years, when a series of explosions ripped through an open-air market in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. A total of 39 were killed and 86 wounded after two SUVs rammed into the crowd of shoppers on early morning, when the market was packed with people. One of the vehicles blew up, while explosives were cast from the other one.