#AceNewsServices – BEIJING – May 31 – (AP) – China has indicted eight people on terrorism charges in connection with an attack on Beijing’s iconic Tiananmen Gate last year that killed two tourists and three assailants, the government said Saturday.
The eight were arrested within days of the Oct 28 attack, in which a man drove an SUV through a crowd of tourists before stopping in front of the gate and setting the vehicle on fire.
A Chinese visitor and a tourist from the Philippines were killed, along with the vehicle’s driver, his wife and mother-in-law, according to Chinese authorities.
The attack was the first to strike Beijing in recent memory. It pointed to a new level of violence and lethal intent in the long simmering insurgency against Chinese rule in the far north-western region of Xinjiang waged by radicals among the native Turkic Uighur Muslim population.
A notice about the indictments posted on the regional prosecutor’s website said the eight would stand trial at the intermediate court in Xinjiang’s capital, Urumqi.
They were accused of organising, leading and participating in a terrorist organisation, as well as endangering public security.
The charges are punishable by a maximum penalty of death.
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