Posted at 12:48 PM ET, 01/23/2012

Tibet protest clash with Chinse military ends in one death, advocacy groups say

According to two Tibetan advocacy groups, Chinese security forces opened fire on a Tibetan protest group, killing at least one man and injuring dozens more.
In this June 20, 2009, file photo, tourists walk through the Potala Palace, the former home of the Dalai Lama before he fled Tibet after a failed Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule in 1959. (Greg Baker/AP)

Free Tibet and the International Campaign for Tibet, two groups that campaign for an independent Tibet, reported a clash between Chinese security forces and Tibetan protesters Monday.

In a news release, Free Tibet reports that protesters gathered in Luhuo, called Draggo by Tibetans, to call for freedom in Tibet and a return of the Dalai Lama, who left the country in 1959. The advocacy group said it did not know why soliders opened fire on the group, but that one man, Norpa Yonten, 49, was killed.
An unidentified “Free Tibet” protester demonstrates in London in November 2005. (Jane Mingay/AP)

Retuers tried to independently verify the information, but was unable to when a security bureau officer hung up on the reporter.

This time of year is particularly sensitive in Tibet, with Tibetans often refusing to celebrate Monday’s Lunar New Year, a major holiday in China. Tibetans celebrate the new year in mid-February. For four years — since an uprising in 2008 — China has closed Tibet to foreign travelers during mid-February. Travel agents told the Associated Press last week that the Chinese government would close the region this year.

There have been other reports of outbreaks of violence in the region this year. The advocacy groups reported a woman shot in January when protests started after a Buddhist monk set himself on fire. At least 16 Tibetans are believed to have set themselves on fire in the past year, the Associated Press reports.

By  |  12:48 PM ET, 01/23/2012

Tags:  World, Tibet, China, Dalai Lama

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