Chinese police shoot at Tibetan monks on Dalai Lama's birthday
Rare use of armed force causes serious injuries
- Reuters, Beijing, for The Guardian
- July 10, 2013
Police in a restive Tibetan part of south-western China opened fire on a group of monks and others who had gathered to mark the birthday of exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, seriously injuring at least two of them, a rights group said.
The incident, in Ganzi in Sichuan province, happened on Saturday at the gathering on a sacred mountain to make offerings and burn incense to celebrate the Dalai Lama's 78th birthday, the US-based International Campaign for Tibet said.
"Large numbers of armed police and soldiers were deployed, with one source reporting at least seven army trucks and police vehicles at the scene," the group said in an email on Tuesday.
"The security forces attempted to prevent Tibetans from making their offerings and gatherings, but according to two Tibetan sources in exile, some Tibetans present argued that burning incense was not a crime.
"Without warning, according to several Tibetan sources, police opened fire on the unarmed crowd and used teargas."
Two monks were shot in the head and several others seriously injured, the group said.
Chinese security forces often use forceful tactics to stop protests in Tibetan regions but rarely use guns.
Source: The Guardian