Death Sentences Handed Down in China's Xinjiang Region

China's state media say four people have been sentenced to death in the nation's northwestern Xinjiang region for a series of deadly attacks last year.

A government-run website says the four are accused of killing nine people and injuring 15 others in at least two incidents between August and November. The names of the four condemned prisoners indicate they are members of the region's Muslim Uighur minority.

Xinjiang has been plagued in recent years by violence between the Uighurs and the predominant Han Chinese. Nearly 200 people were killed in rioting between the two ethnic groups in the provincial capital Urumqi in 2009. The government has blamed Muslim separatists for the violence.

Uighurs claim Xinjiang as their homeland. They have long complained of discrimination by the Han Chinese, who dominate China's leadership, and the influx of the Han into the region.