By Karl Malakunas
BEIJING (AFP) – China faced mounting global pressure over Tibet on Monday amid exiles’ claims that hundreds of people may have died in a crackdown on protesters, even though Beijing denied using deadly force.
Chinese riot police march through the city of Kangding, located around 400 kilometres (250 miles) west of Chengdu in Sichuan Province March 17, 2008. Chinese officials declared a “people’s war” of security and propaganda against support for the Dalai Lama in Tibet after the worst unrest in the region for two decades racked the regional capital Lhasa over the past few days, killing at least 10 people. The convulsion of Tibetan anger at the Chinese presence in the region came after days of peaceful protests by monks and was a sharp blow to Beijing’s preparations for the Olympic Games in August, when China wants to showcase prosperity and unity.REUTERS/David Gray (CHINA)
In its first official account of the unrest in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, China blamed protesters who rose up against Chinese rule in what has turned into a public relations nightmare for Beijing ahead of the Olympic Games.
“They either burned or hacked to death 13 innocent civilians,” Tibet government chairman Qiangba Puncog told reporters in Beijing, adding Chinese forces had not fired weapons at protesters.
“Throughout the process, (security forces) did not carry or use any lethal weapons.”
Read the rest:
Police arrest a Tibetan exile protesting outside the Chinese embassy in New Delhi March 17, 2008. China said on Monday it had shown great restraint in the face of violent protests by Tibetans, which it said were orchestrated by followers of the Dalai Lama seeking to wreck the Beijing Olympics in August.REUTERS/Adnan Abidi (INDIA)