By Cal Widdall
The activist group Free Tibet reported on Monday that a Tibetan man had been killed, and thirty others wounded, after police opened fire on protesters in the Sichuan county of Luhuo (also known as Drango or Draggo to Tibetans). It has now been revealed that the following day a separate protest in neighbouring county Seda (Serthar) resulted in at least one fatality, with as many as five claimed by various Tibetan media organisations.
The Chinese government has confirmed the death but dispute the circumstances. Whilst Tibetan groups have alleged that security forces open fired on a peaceful protest, local officials have stated that the death was a result of armed mob forces attacking a police station. According to Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei, ‘overseas secessionist groups’ have been distorting the truth in order to discredit the government. Foreign media have been barred from the area so claims have been difficult to verify.
Free Tibet has posted an update regarding the Luhuo incident, announcing that a second man has also been confirmed dead, with twelve others in a ‘serious condition’. These events are the latest evidence of Tibetan unrest in a year that has seen numerous protests and 16 self-immolations.
Archival photo from 2008.