Three get jail for needle attacks

Three get jail for needle attacks

Three people were sentenced to up to 15 years in jail on Saturday over a series of needle attacks that triggered a public scare in this capital of China’s troubled western Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

In the first case, a court sentenced Yilipan Yilihamu, 19, to 15 years in prison for stabbing a woman with a hypodermic needle on August 28.

In a separate trial, the court sentenced Muhutaerjiang Turdi, 34, and Aimannisha Guli, a 22-year-old woman, to 10 years and seven years in jail respectively for robbing a taxi driver on August 29.

The duo threatened a taxi driver with a syringe and robbed him of 710 yuan ($104). The woman was captured on the same day of the robbery and the man surrendered to the police three days later.

Urumqi has been plagued by tensions between its ethnic Uighur and Han Chinese residents since bloody ethnic riots in July that left at least 197 people dead. Last month, reports began appearing of attacks by Uighurs using hypodermic syringes.

Hundreds of people have reportedly been stabbed by such needles in the city, triggering huge protests by residents.

Five people died and at least 14 were hospitalised during the protests.

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