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China sentences 3 to prison over syringe attacks

China has sentenced three people to prison terms of up to 15 years for a series of mysterious syringe attacks in the restive region of Xinjiang.

world Updated: Sep 12, 2009 12:07 IST

China has sentenced three people to prison terms of up to 15 years for a series of mysterious syringe attacks in the restive region of Xinjiang.

The official Xinhua News Agency said on Saturday that 19-year-old Yilipan Yilihamu was given 15 years for inserting a needle into a woman's buttock.

A 34-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman were sentenced to 10 years and seven years respectively for threatening a taxi driver with a syringe and robbing him.

Their names suggest all three are members of China's Uighur minority, who make up most of the population of Xinjiang. The bizarre stabbings led to mass demonstrations by tens of thousands of Han Chinese earlier this month against what they said was a government that can't guarantee their safety.