China to try eight people over deadly Tiananmen attack

BBC News, 31 May 2014

Eight people have been indicted in China over a “terror attack” in Beijing when a car ploughed into a crowd at Tiananmen Square and caught fire. The authorities blamed Muslim Uighur separatists for the incident last October which killed two bystanders and the three people inside the vehicle.

The eight will be tried for involvement in a terrorist group and endangering public safety, Xinhua news agency said.

The attack was the first in China’s capital in many years.

Since then, Uighur militants have been linked to a number of other attacks.

In the deadliest, 39 people were killed in a car and bomb attack on a market in the Xinjiang capital Urumqi last week.

An earlier police statement about the October 2013 attack on the edge of Tiananmen Square said the jeep that crashed was driven by a man accompanied by his wife and mother, who ignited petrol inside the vehicle.

All three had names from the Muslim Uighur minority in the restive western region of Xinjiang, where activists complain of cultural and religious repression under Beijing’s rule. However China says it grants the Uighurs wide-ranging freedoms.

Xinhua said those charged over the Tiananmen attack would be tried in Urumqi, but no date was given.

Map of Tiananmen