Report: Hundreds detained in Tibet after self-immolations

By REUTERS
May 31, 2012 06:37
1 minute read.

 
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BEIJING - Hundreds of Tibetans in Lhasa have been detained by Chinese security officers after two self-immolation protests against Chinese rule over Tibet, a US-broadcaster said, stoking concerns of spreading unrest among Tibetans in China.

On Sunday, two Tibetan men set themselves on fire in Lhasa, state news agency Xinhua said, the first time in four years of a major Tibetan protest against Chinese rule. One of the men died.

China has branded the self-immolators "terrorists" and criminals and has blamed exiled Tibetans and the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, for inciting them.

At least 35 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since March 2011 in protest against China's six-decade rule over Tibet, according to Tibetan rights groups. At least 27 have died.

Late on Wednesday, Radio Free Asia cited a source as estimating that about 600 Tibetans had been detained since the Sunday's protests in Lhasa. The number could not be independently confirmed because foreign journalists are barred from entering Tibet.

The detentions come amid news that a Tibetan woman had set herself ablaze on Wednesday afternoon in Aba prefecture in southwestern Sichuan province, according to Tibetan advocacy group Free Tibet and Radio Free Asia.

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