China arrests nine Tibetan monks for bombing government office

Other News Materials 13 April 2008 10:24 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - Police in China's Tibet Autonomous Region have arrested nine Tibetan monks suspected of detonating a bomb at a local government office, state media said on Sunday.

The monks from the Tongxia monastery in Tibet's Gyanbe township planted the homemade bomb inside the township government building in the early hours of March 23 after transporting it there on a motorcycle, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The monks then detonated the bomb and fled the scene, the agency quoted regional police as saying.

The ringleader was a 27-year-old senior monk from Tongxia monastery, it said.

The monks confessed to their involvement in the bombing after their arrest on April 6, it said.

The report gave no details of any damage or injuries caused by the bomb.

Chinese police have detained thousands of Tibetans following independence protests and riots in many Tibatan areas since March 10.

On Saturday, Chinese President Hu Jintao accused the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader, of "instigating violence" in the recent protests and "sabotaging the Beijing Olympics."

In talks with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Hu rejected calls for dialogue with the Dalai Lama over the recent unrest.

Police have detained thousands of people since the protests began and imposed virtual martial law in some areas.

Protests that began on March 10 in Lhasa, the capital of the Autonomous Region, escalated into serious rioting on March 14.

The Chinese government has said 19 people were killed in the violence in Lhasa but the Tibetan government-in-exile said about 140 people were killed, most of them Tibetans shot by Chinese police.