Dramatic violence fanned by separatists lacerated Lhasa over the weekend. As the city calms, people who survived the riot are in slow recovery from the cruelty that some say they had never seen their whole lives.
In one Lhasa hospital, the wounded were telling horror stories about what they went through.
The anger in Qoizhoin flared up when the 63-year-old recalled her injuries, her head wrapped in bandages. "I was heading home with my family in our car around 7 p.m. on Friday. A mob started to throw stones and rubble at us," she said.
"I was holding my grandson, and luckily the rubble didn't get him. I saw the mobs hit at everyone along their path. They seemed inhumane," the Tibetan said.
Another victim, Wang Qian, was working at a China Mobile outlet on Bargor Street. The 20-year-old was also wounded in the head. "When the riot heated up on Friday afternoon, we rolled down the grill and locked up the shop. But they used iron bars and prized open the doors. Almost everything in the store was smashed into pieces."
In ward after ward, the injured, all of the Han, Hui and Tibetan ethnicities, were suffering. Doctors said a 15-year-old Tibetan boy was in a coma.
Zhang Hong, from the southwest Sichuan Province, said he was returning home when three men blocked his way. "I tried to escape, but they came up on me and axed me in the back," he said.
Zhao Jimin, a migrant worker, who suffered liver damage and multiple lacerations, said: "I just got off a bus at the Lhasa bridge station, and before I knew anything, an attacker came and lunged at me."
In Friday's riot, at least 10 civilians died, mostly from burns caused by the roving mobs and some others were injured, the Tibet Autonomous Region government said. Lhasa police said they saved more than 580 people, including three Japanese tourists and a whole school of teachers and students, from the violent array of sabotage.
The Tibet Autonomous Region government said on Friday there was enough evidence to prove the sabotage in Lhasa was "organized, premeditated and masterminded" by the Dalai clique.
The 11th Panchen Lama Gyaincain Norbu joined with other religious leaders and locals in condemning the violence.
(Xinhua News Agency, March 17, 2008)