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China arrests 100 Tibetan monks for attacking police station

Source: PTI
March 22, 2009 20:29 IST
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In the first major anti-Beijing protests by Tibetans after the Lhasa riots, hundreds of people from the community attacked a police station and government officials in northwest China, leading to arrests of nearly 100 pro-Dalai Lama monks, authorities said on Sunday.

The riot in Ragya, in the mountains of remote Qinghai province, is also the first reported major anti-government protest in China's Tibetan areas since the 50th anniversary of a failed uprising against Chinese rule in Tibet on March 10.

Several hundred people, including nearly 100 monks from the Ragya monastery, attacked the police station of Ragya Township of Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Golog on Saturday afternoon.

They also reportedly assaulted policemen and government staff. Some of government staff were slightly injured, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

"Most of the people dispersed on Saturday evening and some 30 others were persuaded to leave in the early hours of Sunday," it quoted authorities in Golog as saying.

Concerned by the riots, the government has sent a team of officials to the monastery on Sunday to ask suspects to surrender. Police have arrested six participants in the attack while 89 surrendered to police. All but two of the 95 were monks in the Ragya Monastery, the report said.

The police said the violence erupted after a man, Zhaxi Sangwu, accused of supporting separatism escaped from police custody and went missing. A Tibetan exile website claimed that the man committed suicide after fleeing police.

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