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2 Foreigners Took Part in Tibet Riot, China Says

October 04, 1987|Associated Press

LHASA, Tibet — China today gave its second account of a pro-independence demonstration in Lhasa, saying that foreigners were involved and that children were paid to stone police.

Six people were killed in the demonstration Thursday in the Tibetan capital, according to the official New China News Agency. The agency disputed travelers' reports that Chinese police fired on the protesters. It blamed the violence on the Dalai Lama, the Tibetans' spiritual leader.

"Among the rioters were two foreigners who were waving their hands, shouting and egging on the people around to attack the police," the agency reported.

It said that some rioters shouted, "Those refusing to join the demonstration will have their houses smashed!" and one offered children six jiao (about 16 cents) to throw stones at police.

The Chinese news agency said the rioters threw gasoline bottles at a police station to set it on fire and then rushed in, looting furniture and tearing up identification and registration cards.

An American who arrived Saturday in Chengdu, in neighboring Sichuan province, said that police withdrew from Jokhang Temple Square on Friday and protesters came back and looted the burned out police station.

Witnesses said Thursday's demonstration by about 2,000 Tibetans began after eight monks protesting detentions of demonstrators last Sunday marched into the square and were arrested. It was the largest known pro-independence demonstration by Tibetans since 1959, when a failed uprising caused the Dalai Lama to flee to India with thousands of his followers.

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