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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 March 2008, 07:36 GMT
'Many surrender' over Tibet riots
Chinese soldiers disembark from a truck in Lhasa on 21 March 2008
China has increased its security presence in Lhasa since the unrest
More than 660 people have turned themselves in to police following recent violent protests in and around Tibet, Chinese state media has said.

Xinhua news agency reported 280 people in Lhasa had handed themselves in by late Tuesday, and earlier reports said 381 people in Sichuan had surrendered.

China is trying to end the biggest protests by Tibetans in 20 years.

Meanwhile, a group of foreign reporters has been allowed into Lhasa for the first time since the violence began.

The group, which does not include the BBC, would be able to interview "victims of criminal acts", foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said on Tuesday.

Olympic boycott?

Anti-China protests began in Lhasa on 10 March and gradually escalated into rioting.

The protests also spread to Tibetan communities in neighbouring provinces.

China says 19 people have been killed by rioters incited by Tibetan separatists. The Tibetan government-in-exile says about 140 people have been killed in a crackdown on protesters by Chinese security forces.

There has been no independent confirmation of either figure.

Nicolas Sarkozy in Tarbes, south-west France, 25 March
I want a dialogue to start and I will step up my response according to the response given by the Chinese authorities
Nicolas Sarkozy,
French president

Authorities in Lhasa have also issued 29 arrest warrants and published a list of 53 people wanted in connection with the violence, Xinhua said.

Western nations have been urging China to engage in dialogue with exiled Tibetan leaders to calm the unrest.

And on Tuesday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said he had not ruled out boycotting the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games on 8 August.

"I want a dialogue to start and I will step up my response according to the response given by the Chinese authorities," he told journalists.

UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband also described international concern about the violence as justified and proper.

But he spoke out against an Olympic boycott, saying: "A wrecked Olympics is actually not going to do anything for human rights in China."

US President George W Bush is still planned to attend the opening ceremony, the White House has confirmed.



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