BEIJING, Oct 12 (Reuters) – A Chinese court in the restive far western region of Xinjiang on Monday sentenced six people to death for murder and other crimes committed during ethnic rioting in July in which almost 200 people were killed.
It was not immediately clear from the brief report by the official Xinhua news agency if any of the death sentences would be commuted, as sometimes happens in China.
Another person was give life imprisonment, Xinhua said. It gave no other details.
State television showed deserted streets and heavy security around the courthouse, which it said was closed for all other business.
Last month, China announced the first charges to be laid in connection with the unrest, with 21 people charged with murder, arson, robbery and damaging property during ethnic riots that erupted in Urumqi, Xinjiang’s capital, on July 5.
In Xinjiang’s worst ethnic violence in decades, Uighurs attacked majority Han Chinese in Urumqi, after taking to the streets to protest against attacks on Uighur workers at a factory in southern China in June that left two Uighurs dead.
Han Chinese in Urumqi sought revenge two days later.
The violence left 197 people dead, mostly Han Chinese, and wounded more than 1,600, according to official figures. (Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Chris Buckley and Alex Richardson)
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