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Bomb blast in Tibetan area: police

March 19, 2009

AFP
March 17, 2009

BEIJING (AFP) -- Police in a Tibetan-dominated region of southwest
China confirmed Tuesday a government office was rocked by a bomb
explosion, but said the incident was not serious.

According to Xinhua news agency, "a bomb thrown by terrorists" hit a
government compound in Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan
province on Monday shortly after midnight. No one was injured, it said.

"It's not something serious," a policeman at the Batang county public
security bureau told AFP by phone, while expressing surprise that the
incident was reported in the state media.

The blast occurred in Bogexi township, which is in Batang county, and
sits next to the Tibetan Autonomous Region, said the policeman, who
declined to be named.

He refused to offer further details, but Xinhua said the explosion
was being investigated.

Chinese authorities have launched a massive security clampdown in
recent weeks in a bid to quell possible unrest as Tibetans mark the
50th anniversary of a failed uprising against Chinese rule in the
mountainous region.

The uprising led to the exile of the Dalai Lama, Tibetan Buddhism's
most revered spiritual figure.

The bombing also came right after the first anniversary of riots in
the Tibetan capital of Lhasa that began on March 14 last year and
spread to other areas in China inhabited by Tibetans, including Ganzi.

Chinese authorities have curbed travel by foreigners to Tibet while
overseas journalists have also been barred from most Tibetan
inhabited areas in China where unrest occurred last year.

On Monday, a US-based Tibetan activist groups said authorities in
Qinghai province, which also borders Tibet, had taken more than 100
Tibetan monks away from their monastery for political re-education
after they held a peaceful protest last month.

The International Campaign for Tibet said the monks were "taken for
study" from Lutsang monastery in Qinghai province's Guinan county
last week, adding some had suffered interrogation, torture and beatings.

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