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Published: Saturday March 29, 2014 MYT 6:36:29 PM
Updated: Saturday March 29, 2014 MYT 6:38:09 PM

China charges four surviving suspects of Kunming attack

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has laid out the charges against the four surviving suspects in a knife attack in the south-western city of Kunming this month that left at least 169 dead or injured, the official People's Daily newspaper said on Saturday.

The charges against the suspects of the March 1 attack, in which 29 were killed and about 140 injured, include organising, leading and participating in a terrorist organisation and murder, the newspaper said on its microblog.

Police shot four of the other attackers dead.

The four surviving suspects are likely to be given the death penalty, judging by the crimes they are accused of. Courts in China are controlled by the ruling Communist Party, which has already clearly apportioned blame.

The government blamed the attack on militants from the troubled far western region of Xinjiang, where Beijing has long said it faces a threat from violent Islamist separatists.

Xinjiang, resource-rich and strategically located on the borders of central Asia, has been the focus of a renewed security campaign.

More than 100 people, including several policemen, have been killed in violence in Xinjiang since last April, according to state media reports.

(Reporting by Paul Carsten and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

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