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Police in Tibet arrest 16 monks as bombing suspects
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Police in Tibet said they have arrested 16 Buddhist monks and are seeking another three who were allegedly involved in three separatist bomb attacks and plots.

According to the Tibet Autonomous Regional Department of Public Security, the three cases all occurred in Mangkam County, east Tibet's Qamdo prefecture.

The first case involved Chogyal and Tenphel and another three monks from the Wese Monastery who allegedly plotted to bomb key county establishments on April 3.

At 11:25 p.m. on April 5, Tenphel and another three monks allegedly bombed a transformer in Gartog township using explosives, detonators and fuses provided by Chogyal, said the spokesman.

Local police arrested the five monks on May 13.

On April 7, Tashi Tsering and another three monks allegedly intended to bomb a fuel station and a police service spot in Gartog at 9 p.m., but failed. Early the next day, Tashi Tsering allegedly ignited the bomb while passing an armed police station. The police arrested him on May 12 and are seeking the other three monks.

The third case occurred on April 15. Tengpa Gyatso and Gyapa Dondrup were alleged to have incited four monks into bombing a local resident's home. The police arrested monks who were accused of involvement on May 12.

According to the local police, all the suspects had confessed to their crimes, claiming they had been listening to foreign radio for a long time and were following separatist propaganda from the Dalai Lama.

They said the March 14 unrest had inspired them.

"Buddists should believe in clemency. Real Buddhists should learn Buddhist scriptures by heart, love their country and their religion, abide by the law, and bring happiness to people. They should not involve themselves in cruel killing and sabotage," said Dainzin Chilai, vice-chairman of the China Buddhist Association and vice-chairman of the People's Political Consultative Conference of Tibet Autonomous Region.

The March 14 unrest resulted in the deaths of at 18 innocent civilians and one police officer.

It also left 382 civilians and 241 police officers injured, businesses looted, and residences, shops and vehicles torched.

(Xinhua News Agency June 5, 2008)

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