Tibetan protesters take refuge in monastery

About 30 Tibetans injured after Chinese police fired into a crowd of protesters in a restive southwestern region were seeking shelter in a monastery while military forces surrounded the building,a Tibetan monk said

Written by Associated Press | Beijing | Published:January 25, 2012 12:34 am

About 30 Tibetans injured after Chinese police fired into a crowd of protesters in a restive southwestern region were seeking shelter Tuesday in a monastery while military forces surrounded the building,a Tibetan monk said.

Chinese authorities said Monday’s unrest was caused by a “mob”. The violence in Luhuo county in the politically sensitive Ganzi prefecture of Sichuan province comes amid high tensions after at least 16 Buddhist monks,nuns and other Tibetans self-immolated in the past year. Most have chanted for Tibetan freedom and the return of their spiritual leader,the Dalai Lama,who fled to India amid an abortive uprising against Chinese rule in 1959.

A monk from Luhuo county’s Shouling monastery,one of the most famous monasteries in the region,said that 33 wounded people were being cared for in a clinic within the religious compound. At least 50 military vehicles were parked outside the monastery,he said.

“They want to take the injured people away but we won’t let them because we don’t trust them,we don’t know what will happen to them,” said the monk,who would not give his name out of fear of government retaliation. He said the monks worried about the massive security response. “We are all in the monastery. Without the local residents around,the monks don’t dare to go out,” he said.

Accounts of Monday’s violence differ. Tibet activist groups said police opened fire on thousands of peaceful protesters,while the Chinese government says a far smaller number of Tibetans and police clashed after the Tibetans attacked a police station and smashed cars.

Secessionist groups distorting facts: China
Beijing:
China Tuesday accused “secessionist groups” abroad of distorting facts on the spate of suicides by Buddhist monks,a day after a Tibetan was killed by police in southwest Sichuan province. “Overseas forces of ‘Tibet independence’ have always fabricated rumours,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman,Hong Lei said. PTI

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