Page last updated at 03:56 GMT, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 04:56 UK

Two killed in Tibet-linked clash


Two people were killed in western China when police moved to arrest an alleged pro-Tibet rioter, state media reported.

A policeman and the suspect were shot dead in the incident in Dari County, Qinghai province, Xinhua said.

The attempted arrest was linked to a riot in the area last month by "insurgents seeking Tibetan independence", the news agency said.

Anti-China protests began in Tibet's main city, Lhasa, on 10 March and quickly spread to surrounding areas.

China says at least 19 people were killed by rioters, but Tibetan exiles say that dozens of people were killed by Chinese security forces.

Tibet and the surrounding provinces where the protests took place have been closed to foreigners since the unrest.


Xinhua said that a "handful of people" incited herders to riot in Hongke Town, Dari County on 21 March.

"After a month-long investigation, the police moved on Monday to arrest the suspected leader. The suspect resisted arrest and gunfire broke out," it said.

"The officer was killed in the gun battle... and other officers returned fire, killing the suspect."

The agency named the dead officer as Lama Cedain, an ethnic Tibetan officer from the local public security bureau.

On Tuesday, Chinese authorities announced that 30 people, including six Buddhist monks, had been jailed for their roles in violent protests in Lhasa on 14 March.

China said that the proceedings had been open and attended by more than 200 people, but US-based group Human Rights Watch said it was concerned that the defendants had not received a fair trial.

Chinese authorities have blamed the Dalai Lama for orchestrating the unrest in an attempt to sabotage this summer's Beijing Olympics and promote Tibetan independence - an allegation the Nobel Peace Prize winner strongly denies.

Officials in Beijing have now offered to hold dialogue with a representative of the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, but details such as when and where have yet to be clarified.

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