Eight executed in Beijing, two others sentenced


China's state media today announced eight executions in Beijing, and the handing down of two death sentences in relation to weapons sales in the northwest of the country.

The eight were put to death in the Chinese capital earlier this month on the order of the Beijing's Higher People's Court, the Xinhua news agency said.

They were also found guilty of killing a total of six people, according to Xinhua.

In a separate report, the semi-official China News Service said two people had been sentenced to death in northwestern Qinghai province for the illegal sale of guns.

They were members of a gang of five selling both real and fake handguns of a type popular in the Chinese armed forces, according to the service.

China has entered the second year of a "strike hard" anti-crime campaign that began in April 2001.

The campaign has resulted in at least 2,468 executions for the entire year, the London-based rights group Amnesty International said recently.

The number of executions, was "more than the total number of people executed in the rest of the world in the previous three years," Amnesty said.