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Page last updated at 11:55 GMT, Sunday, 11 May 2008 12:55 UK

Nepal arrests 560 Tibetan women

Female Tibetan exiles participate in a silent march in Kathmandu to protest against the Chinese government, 11 May, 2008
The arrests came at Nepal's first all-women protests against China

Nepalese police have arrested some 560 Tibetan women, including many Buddhist nuns, after breaking up demonstrations against China's crackdown in Tibet.

In the first example of all-women protests, three rallies in Kathmandu were quickly stopped by police.

It was the biggest round-up since Tibetan exiles began near daily demonstrations in March.

Protestors wearing black armbands wept and shouted "We want free Tibet" as they were dragged to police vans.

Police said those detained were being held in detention centres around the capital, and would be freed later.

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Protesters and Nepalese police clash in Kathmandu

Kathmandu is home to thousands of Tibetan exiles who have mounted almost daily protests against Beijing since deadly riots broke out in the Tibetan capital Lhasa in March.

Rioting erupted after days of protests pivoting around the anniversary of the failed 1959 Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule.

More than 20,000 Tibetans have been living in Nepal since fleeing their Himalayan homeland after the failed uprising and China's subsequent crack-down.

Nepal says it cannot allow Tibetans to demonstrate because it recognises Tibet as an integral part of China.

But the UN says the mass arrests are against the spirit of a society governed by the rule of law.


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