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China says teenager masterminded killing of imam in Xinjiang

Published on Aug 25, 2014 11:28 AM

BEIJING (REUTERS) - Chinese police have concluded that an 18-year-old, who was influenced by religious extremism, was the mastermind behind the murder of a state-backed imam in China's western Xinjiang region, state media said on Monday.

In late July, three suspected Islamist militants in Xinjiang armed with knives and axes attacked Juma Tayir, a well-known pro-government Uighur who led prayers at China's biggest mosque, according to Chinese authorities.

Two of the attackers were later shot dead by police while the third, Nurmemet Abidili, was arrested.

The state-run China Daily newspaper, citing police, said late on Sunday that Aini Aishan, 18, was "the alleged mastermind behind the murder" of the imam. He had instructed Nurmemet Abidili on jihad or Islamic holy war, "showing him the terrorist videos and teaching him about religious extremism", the Xinjiang Daily reported on Monday.

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