Chinese police shoot protesting Tibetan monk

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Beijing, Feb.28 (ANI): A Tibetan monk was shot by Chinese police after he set himself on fire

Pro-Tibet activists in London and Hong Kong reported that the monk, called Tabe and said to be in his twenties, walked out of Kirti monastery, an important seat of worship in a majority Tibetan area of Sichuan province, at around 1 p.m. He was carrying a hand-drawn Tibetan flag carrying a picture of the Dalai Lama.

According to The Telegraph, Tabe walked down the main street into nearby Aba town, dousing himself with petrol, finally immolating himself in front of numerous witnesses.

The Free Tibet Campaign and Students for a Free Tibet said they had several different accounts of what happened next.

Armed police, who have flocked into Tibetan areas of China in advance of the 50th anniversary of the uprising that saw the Dalai Lama flee into exile on March 10, surrounded the monk. Three were seen to be carrying guns, and according to one account, three shots were heard.

Tabe then fell to the ground, where the police extinguished the flames. He was then put into the back of a police van and driven away.

There were no reports of his condition, but local people feared he had died, according to witnesses.

There was no immediate confirmation from the authorities.

There has been a high degree of tension this week, which marked the Tibetan new year, Losar. Tibetans declared it would be a period of mourning for those who died in clashes between Tibetan rioters, protesting monks and police and the army during a string of protests in March last year. (ANI)

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