A vehicle from the Chinese police special tactical unit guards the sidewalk near the site of an attack near Beijing's Forbidden City last year. Pic: AP.

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese state media say eight convicted terrorists have been executed in western region of Xinjiang, where ethnic conflicts have left dozens of people dead this year.

The government-run Tianshan Net news portal said Saturday that among those executed were three men convicted of plotting a deadly assault in the heart of Beijing last year in which the attacker — with his mother and wife as passengers — drove a vehicle through crowds, killing themselves and three bystanders.

Tianshan Net said the others were convicted of offenses including police attacks, bomb making, murder and arson at checkpoints.

Xinjiang is home to the Muslim, Turkic minority of Uighurs. Beijing has blamed the violence on terrorism with overseas ties, but human rights groups say the Uighurs are suffering from repressive policies and practices.