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Three Executed over Kunming Terrorist Attack
   2015-03-24 13:10:47    Xinhua      Web Editor: Wang Wei

A photo taken on October 31, 2014 shows Iskandar Ehet, Turgun Tohtunyaz and Hasayn Muhammad, who have been found guilty of organizing and leading a terrorist organization as well as murder in Yunnan Province, make their appearance at trial. [File photo: Chinanews.com]

A Chinese court executed three men on Tuesday for leading a terrorist attack that killed 31 people at a railway station in Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province, last year.

Iskandar Ehet, Turgun Tohtunyaz and Hasayn Muhammad were executed upon approval by the Supreme People's Court, the Kunming Intermediate People's Court said.

The three were convicted and sentenced to death in September 2014 after being found guilty of organizing and leading a terrorist organization as well as murder. Their death penalties were upheld by the Yunnan Higher People's Court a month later.

A group of assailants armed with knives randomly attacked civilians at the railway station, causing 31 deaths and injuring another 141 on March 1, 2014. Police shot dead four of the attackers, wounded and captured a female suspect.

The female assailant, Patigul Tohti, who was pregnant when arrested, has been sentenced to life.

Investigators found that the three men had been training recruits for terrorist activities, including the attack at the Kunming railway station, since December 2013.

The three men were arrested when planning to illegally cross the Chinese border on Feb. 27 in the Shadian township of Yunnan. Two days later, five members of the group carried out the attack.

China has faced growing threats from terrorism in recent years.

Three people were killed and 39 others injured when a sports utility vehicle plowed into crowds near Tian'anmen Square in the heart of Beijing on Oct. 28, 2013.

In a more recent case, 40 rioters died in a series of planned bomb attacks in Luntai County, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Sept. 21, 2014. Six civilians were killed and dozens injured in the terror attacks.

According to chief justice Zhou Qiang, Chinese courts convicted 712 people for instigating secessionist activities or participating in violent terrorist attacks in 2014, representing a year-on-year increase of 13.3 percent.

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