SHANGHAI – Prosecutors in far western China have indicted eight people over an attack on the edge of Beijing’s Tiananmen Square last October in which a car plowed into a crowd and caught fire, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported on Saturday.
The government of the restive region of Xinjiang also unveiled new policies to underpin a yearlong, nationwide anti-terrorism campaign launched on May 25, offering rewards for weapons turned in to the police and mandating that companies hire more locals.
The anti-terrorism drive has focused on Xinjiang, home to a large Muslim Uighur minority, following a series of bloody attacks that Beijing blames on Islamists and separatists from the region. The Uighurs are culturally closer to ethnic groups across central Asia and Turkey than the Han Chinese who make up the vast majority of China’s population.
The government blamed the Beijing attack separatist militants from Xinjiang. Three people in the car and two bystanders were killed, and 40 people were injured. The procuratorate of Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, accused the eight being indicted of “organizing, leading and participating (in) a terrorist group and endangering public security with dangerous method,” Xinhua said.
Xinhua did not identify the eight. It said they would stand trial at the Urumqi Intermediate People’s Court but did not give a date.