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Page last updated at 20:21 GMT, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 21:21 UK

'Arms found' in China monasteries

Tibetan monks are seen at the Labrang monastery as life returns to normal in Xiahe, western China's Gansu province, Friday, April 4, 2008.
Monks were at the heart of the protests in and around Tibet last month

Weapons and explosives have been found in 11 Buddhist monasteries in the Tibetan-populated province of Gansu, according to China's state media.

The items were discovered in the past two days in monasteries in the Gannan prefecture, Xinhua news agency said.

According to Xinhua, 94 people were injured during assaults, looting, arson and vandalism in Gannan in mid-March.

A violent uprising last month in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, quickly spilled over into neighbouring areas.

The local Gannan authorities told Xinhua that conditions had now returned to normal.

Arrests

"In the past two days, local police found three rifles, 571 bullets, 10kg of dynamite, five detonators and 38 satellite receivers in 11 key monasteries in Jone and Xiahe counties, and Hezuo City in Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture," Xinhua reported.

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More than 2,200 people are reported to have surrendered to the police in connection with the Gannan riots.

Most have now been released, but about 100 monks are reportedly still being held.

The Chinese authorities insist the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, orchestrated the violence - an accusation he vehemently denies.

Exiled Tibetan leaders say more than 150 people were killed by the Chinese security forces during the violence last month.

But China says about 20 people died, and blames the unrest on Tibetan rioters.



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