2 men get death for killing imam in China's west

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BEIJING (AP) — Two men have been sentenced to death and another to life imprisonment for killing a pro-government Muslim cleric in China's far-western city of Kashgar, state media said Monday.

A court in Kashgar on Sunday convicted Gheni Hasan and Nurmemet Abidilimit of organizing and leading a terrorist group as well as intentional homicide, and sentenced them to death, the government-run news portal Tianshan Net said.

The third man, Atawulla Tursun, was convicted of participating in the terror group and sentenced to life in prison, Tianshan said.

Chinese media say Nurmemet Abidilimit and two other men killed imam Jume Tahir, 74, after dawn prayers at a major mosque on July 30, amid a string of violence by members of the Uighur minority against government institutions and supporters. Nurmemet Abidilimit was arrested, and the other two were shot dead by police.

Nearly 400 people have been killed in the violence in the past year and a half.

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