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China Reports 7 Detained in Tibet Riots

December 3, 2007


November 30, 2007

BEIJING (AP) — Rioters in Chinese-ruled Tibet destroyed shops and
government offices following a dispute between Buddhist monks and a
local shopkeeper, the government's news agency reported.

Seven people were arrested in the Nov. 20 clashes, the Xinhua News
Agency reported Wednesday. Among those held, it said, were two monks
accused of robbing a motorcycle maintenance shop Nov. 19 in the town of
Paingar and five others for "fanning the riot" the day after the monks'

Xinhua gave no reason for the eight-day delay in reporting the riot.
Paingar is remote — about 190 miles northeast of Tibet's capital, Lhasa
— and disturbances in the often restive Himalayan region are deemed
politically sensitive by the Communist government.

Calls to government offices in Biru, the county seat, went unanswered. A
man who picked up the phone at the Biru county police headquarters
refused to discuss the incident and hung up without giving his name.

According to Xinhua's account, about 190 people, including some monks,
gathered outside local government headquarters to demand the release of
those arrested. The crowd then "destroyed shops and government
facilities," Xinhua said.

Authorities were searching for a third monk accused of taking part in
the alleged Nov. 19 robbery, it said.

The unrest is the latest sign of social tensions in Tibet, where a
heavy-handed security presence and growing numbers of Chinese migrants
have stirred resentment among the Tibetan majority.

In August, large protests broke out in a Tibetan area in Sichuan
province after authorities arrested a man who mounted the stage at a
horse racing festival and led the crowd in chanting slogans calling for
the return of the Dalai Lama. Tibet's traditional Buddhist leader fled
into exile in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule.

Xinhua did not identify those detained or provide details on the alleged
robbery, although it appeared to illustrate common disputes over money
exacerbated by language and cultural differences.

Xinhua said crowds were "persuaded to return home later the same day by
government workers."

"The local social order is stable," it said, citing local government
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