'Chinese guards fired on Tibetans, no injuries'

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Kathmand, Oct 31: Chinese border guards fired on a group of Tibetans, including children, fleeing across the Himalayas into Nepal earlier this month, but nobody was hurt, an organisation working for the Tibetan cause said.

The Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) said the group of 30 Tibetans included monks, nuns and two children.

It said the incident occurred on October 18 near the glaciated pass of Nangpa La, a common route used by Tibetans to flee into Nepal, where a young nun was killed in a similar shooting last year.

Chinese embassy officials could not be immediately reached for comment on the latest incident.

In a statement emailed yesterday late evening, ICT said most of the fleeing Tibetans had safely crossed into Nepal, but seven people, including an ill man, were captured and detained before the shooting began.

''The Tibetans dropped their belongings and ran with the border police pursuing them,'' the group said, adding that about seven police officials had opened fire.

''At least one bullet passed by me and I was happy not to be hit,'' it quoted an unnamed nun as saying.

A young nun was killed when Chinese guards fired on a group of Tibetans in the Nangpa La area in September last year.

That incident watched by some mountain climbers drew international criticism of authorities in Beijing.

Nangpa La, located at about 19,000 feet (5,790 metres) is a common point for thousands of Tibetans who cross into Nepal every year for their onward journey to neighbouring India where their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has been living since he fled after a failed uprising against the Chinese in 1959.


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