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You don’t need a gun to kill and injure a whole lot of people…

BEIJING — A Chinese court sentenced three men to death and a woman to life imprisonment for organizing or carrying out a knife attack in March that left 31 dead at a train station in the southwestern city of Kunming.

The attack on the railway station, in which 141 people were also wounded, shocked China, signaling that tensions between the nation’s ethnic Uighur minority and Han majority were spreading outside the Uighur homeland of Xinjiang.

The defendants’ ethnicities were not mentioned, but all had Uighur-sounding names and listened to court proceedings through headphones, presumably providing simultaneous translation into their language.

An upsurge in Xinjiang-related violence, which Beijing says is inspired by a combination of separatism and Muslim religious extremism, has prompted the authorities to tighten already suffocating controls in the region, including over Islamic religious practice.

Chinese authorities have said the group responsible for the Kunming attack was trying to leave the country “to join jihad” abroad but when prevented from doing so had hatched a plot to carry out a terrorist attack within China.

According to the Kunming court’s microblog, the attack was planned at a hair salon in the city of Gejiu, not far from the Vietnamese border, with the group making black jihadi flags and watching videos made by overseas Islamist extremist groups.

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