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Tibetans Injured in Grenade Attack

March 21, 2012

Security forces in China’s western Qinghai province wounded an unknown number of Tibetan protesters in an apparent grenade attack on Sunday, with some of the injured taken to hospital and others left untreated, a Tibetan source said.

Meanwhile, sources in the region and in exile reported that police had detained other Tibetans in Qinghai and neighboring regions for planning or taking part in protests challenging Chinese rule and calling for the return of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

“On March 18, Chinese security forces threw explosives into a crowd of Tibetan protesters in Gepasumdo [in Chinese, Tongde] county in Tsolho [in Chinese, Hainan] prefecture,” a Tibetan living in South India said, speaking on condition of anonymity and citing sources in the region.

“Seven who were severely injured were taken to hospital, but some of those who were hurt could not be taken for treatment,” the source said.

Details of the police assault, and the nature of the “explosives” used in the attack, could not be independently confirmed.

The Sunday incident followed three days of local protests calling for the release of 50 monks from nearby Ba Shangtre monastery who were detained on March 15 for raising the banned Tibetan national flag and shouting political slogans, sources said.

“The names of some who were detained are Yeshe Dorje, Jang Rin, Sherab Palsang, and Pema Rigdzin,” the India-based source said.

“Most of [those detained] were the younger monks from the monastery,” he added.

Village raided

Separately, a local Tibetan source reported that on or around March 15, “about a hundred” Chinese police and armed paramilitary police raided a village in Dzatoe township in Sichuan’s Dege county, taking eight Tibetans into custody.

“They were detained on suspicion of involvement in the appearance of several anti-China protest leaflets and writings in the area,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“The Chinese force arrived in 24 vehicles, surrounded Rebpa village, entered the houses, and took them away,” he said.

The names of those detained and other details are still unknown “owing to the presence of Chinese security forces and other spies in the town,” he said.

Another man, identified as Khega, was detained in Dzatoe on March 16, the source said.

“[Khega] is from Doda town, which was actively involved in protests in the area in 2008,” he said. “His exact age is not known.”

Five detained

Meanwhile, police also detained five Tibetans in Nagchu prefecture in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) on suspicion of planning “anti-China activities,” India-based Tibetan reporter Ngawang Tharpa said, speaking to RFA.

The men had met in a restaurant on March 9 to plan a protest the next day—March 10, the 53rd anniversary of a failed 1959 Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule—Tharpa said.

“They planned to call for freedom for Tibet, the return of the Dalai Lama, and the reopening of monasteries with full rights given to monks to study and practice religion.”

Alerted to the plan, Chinese police detained Karma Tharlam of Dathang town, Siga from Tsala town, and Dzomlha Kar at around 9:00 a.m. on March 10, Tharpa said.

“Then, on March 14, Drukdrak of Dathang and Tsegon of Chakse town were also taken into custody,” he said.

“Their current condition and whereabouts are not known,” he said.

Reported by Norbu Damdul, Kunsang Tenzin, and Guru Choegyi for RFA’s Tibetan service. Translations by Karma Dorjee. Written in English by Richard Finney.

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