Lawyer: Outspoken Uighur scholar in China found guilty of separatism, receives life sentence

The lawyer for an outspoken scholar from China's Uighur minority says his client has been found guilty of separatism and sentenced to life in jail.

The Urumqi People's Intermediate Court sentenced scholar Ilham Tohti on Tuesday after a two-day trial. Separatism carries sentences from three years to death in China.

Ilham Tohti was known as a moderate voice who spoke out about the plight of Uighurs under majority Han Chinese rule.

Tensions have run high in the far western region of Xinjiang where many of China's Uighurs live. Authorities said several explosions killed two people Sunday in central Xinjiang but didn't say who carried out the attacks. Police said 43 people died in May when Uighur militants drove through a market in the regional capital of Urumqi and hurled explosives.