URUMQI, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- A court in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Thursday sentenced three men to death and one man to 25 years in jail for a violent terrorist attack which left 24 people dead in the region's Shanshan County on June 26.
The Intermediate People's Court of the Turpan Prefecture, which administers Shanshan County, handed the death penalty to Ahmatniyaz Sidiq for his guilt in organizing, leading and participating in a terrorist organization, homicide and arson. He was also deprived of political rights for life.
The court sentenced Urayim Eli and Abdulla Esrapil to death for their participation in the terrorist organization and homicide.
Akram Usman was sentenced to 25 years in jail and was deprived of political rights for five years for his participation in the terrorist organization, homicide and arson, said the court.
The court found that Akram Usman, Urayim Eli and Abdulla Esrapil had gathered with Eli Ahmatniyaz and others frequently at Lukqun Township, Shanshan County in the Turpan Prefecture since April to engage in illegal religious activities.
They advocated and spread religious extremism, watched violence-inciting videos from foreign terrorist organizations, and read books on religious extremism to further conspire on terrorist activities, the court said.
Eli Ahmatniyaz gathered with Akram Usman and four others at Lukqun Township on June 19 and plotted attacks against the local police station, government and a market.
Akram Usman and his conspirators provided 10,800 yuan (1765.3 U.S. dollars) and bought gasoline and 47 knives during the period from June 20 to 25, according to the court.
A gang of 13 people, including Ahmatniyaz Sidiq, Urayim Eli, Abdulla Esrapil and Eli Ahmatniyaz, carried out the violent attack early on the morning of June 26 after Ahmatniyaz Sidiq decided to launch the terror attack on June 25.
Police investigation showed that the multiple attacks in Shanshan on June 26 were a premeditated and organized violent terrorist crime.
The methods used were merciless in the extreme and the incident had serious consequences so they ought to be severely punished in accordance with the law, the court said.
The attacks killed 24 people, including two police officers, and injured 23 others, leading to a direct economic loss of 2.13 million yuan.