Riots Spread Outside Tibet

Protesters torch marketplace, police station in Sichuan province
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Mar 16, 2008 12:07 PM CDT
Tibetan monks offer prayers to those killed in the ancient Tibetan capital of Lhasa during the Chinese crackdown there on protestors at a monastery in Katmandu, Nepal, Sunday, March 16, 2008.    (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Following violent protests against Chinese rule that left 80 dead in Lhasa, according to the exiled Tibetan government, rioting flared today in a province bordering Tibet. Ethnic Tibetans in Sichuan besieged the main government building and set fire to a police station and marketplace. "They've gone crazy," one police officer told Reuters. Police have shot at least seven protesters to death, Tibetan sources say; Beijing disputes the figure.

The spreading violence came as the Dalai Lama met with reporters today, calling for an investigation of what he called China's "cultural genocide" in the region. But a Chinese security crackdown in Lhasa over the weekend has restored a strained calm there as the country preps for the Olympics kick-off next week, and protests are expected to remain localized.