Three men executed over deadly Kunming station terrorist attack

Three men were executed 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 following the approval of the Supreme People’s Court, the Kunming Intermediate People’s Court announced on Tuesday.

The three were 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 High People’s Court a month later.

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

The female assailant, Patigul Tohti, who was pregnant at the time of the arrest, has been sentenced to life in prison.

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 were arrested while they were planning to illegally cross the Chinese border on February 27 in Yunnan’s Shadian township. Two days later, five members of the group carried out the attack.

According to a speech of Chief Justice Zhou Qiang in early March, 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.