China has sentenced to death four robbers who used explosives and heavy machinery to plunder tombs almost 2,500 years old.
The state Xinhua News Agency says a 27-member gang looted a dozen tombs in the central province of Hunan in 2008 and 2009. The remaining 23 were jailed.
More than 200 stolen artifacts were under China's highest level of protection. One tomb dates from the Warring States period that began in 475 BC. All the relics were recovered.
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