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Monks killed in Tibet temple blast: media

July 24, 2008

July 23, 2008

A Tibetan Buddhist temple in an area of China wreaked by anti-Chinese
unrest earlier this year has collapsed, killing two monks, after a
powder used in religious rituals exploded, state media said.

Four other monks were hurt in the explosion and collapse of the
Gonchen monastery on July 12 in south-western China's Sichuan
province, Xinhua news agency said.

The accident at the monastery, located in the Tibetan-populated Garze
prefecture of Sichuan, occurred when an electrical short circuit
ignited a black powder stored there, it said.

The report, which quoted Wang Jian, vice director of the prefecture's
police force, did not identify the powder.

It also did not say why the incident was not reported sooner.

The Garze region saw violent clashes between Tibetans and police
forces after anti-Chinese riots in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa on
March 14 spilled across the Tibetan plateau and into neighbouring
provinces such as Sichuan.

The report said the temple had broken safety rules in storing 716
kilograms of the powder.

The two monks were buried on July 16 and the remaining powder was
transferred to Government control, Xinhua said.
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