Dharamsala, Mar 16 : Over 100 people have been shot at during clashes between the Chinese authorities and Tibetan protesters, the Tibetan government-in-exile has said.
The reports came after protests by Buddhist monks in Tibet turned violent, with China's official Xinhua News Agency reporting that 10 people had been killed in the largest demonstrations in nearly two decades against Beijing's 57-year rule over Tibet.
"We have reports from very reliable sources that over a 100 Tibetans have been already shot at. On Friday late night, I personally got calls that seven nuns, unarmed monks, the moment they came out of their monastery complex at Pokar, they were immediately shot at," said Dolma Gyary, Deputy Speaker of Tibetan Parliament-in-exile.
There has been worldwide condemnation of the Chinese action against the Tibetan marchers.
Tibetan Prime Minister-in-exile, Samdhong Rinpoche, said reports of high-level violence and killings from other places including Lhasa have been reported.
"Yesterday Lhasa was completely under chaos and many people are being killed as reported. And similarly, Alabang side and in many other places huge demonstrations were taking place," said Rinpoche.
Meanwhile, around 70 Tibetan monks and nuns sat on an indefinite hunger strike in Dharamsala to express their solidarity and support to their fellow Tibetans.
The protestors urged the Chinese Government to consider their demands.
"We want to urge the Chinese Government that the protest and demonstration that has been going for the last 49 days by the Tibetans-in-exile and the Tibetans in side Tibet. The time has come for Chinese Government to hear what the Tibetans want to urge for them," said Dolma, an activist and organiser of the hunger strike.
Tibetan monks in Siliguri carried out a candle light march on Saturday in their bid to support the campaign.
As the Beijing Olympics approach, Tibetans are trying to reinvigorate their freedom movement and protest against what they see as China's illegal occupation of their homeland.
But the Dalai Lama, the spiritual and temporal leader of the exiled Tibetans, had earlier rejected a Chinese accusation that he was trying to sabotage the Olympics, saying he had always supported Beijing's right to host the Games.
Hundreds of marchers had set off to the Tibetan border on March 10 as a part of global protests to mark the 49th anniversary of an uprising against Chinese rule, leaving Dharamsala, the home to Tibet's spiritual leader, Dalai Lama and the Tibetan refugees' "Government-in-exile".
The ongoing protests mark the anniversary of a 1959 uprising in Tibet against Chinese rule, which was crushed by the People's Liberation Army, driving the Dalai Lama into exile.