The six learned they face execution at the Intermediate People's Court of Urumqi. It was a first-instance trial and there will be an opportunity to appeal the sentences, reports the China Daily.
The penalties were meted out to Abdukerim Abduwayit, Gheni Yusup, Abdulla Mettohti, Adil Rozi, Nureli Wuxiu'er and Alim Metyusup.
A seventh person was also on trial. The court gave Tayirejan Abulimit life imprisonment after he admitted murder and robbery. The court acknowledged that he helped police capture Alim Metyusup.
Fourteen thousand security personnel, according to the official Urumqi Online, meanwhile, are patrolling the city, around the clock.
The defendants went on trial in three separate courtrooms at 10 am. More than 400 people, including the suspects' relatives, witnessed the proceedings, which were carried out in the Uygur language with simultaneous translation into Mandarin.