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Death toll rises to 10 in Lhasa riot
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The death toll from Friday's riot in Lhasa has increased to 10, the Tibet regional government said on Saturday morning.

(Photo: CCTV)

Among the dead were two hotel employees and two shop owners. A mob reportedly used double-barrel rifles to kill two business people.

"The victims are all innocent civilians, and most of them were burnt to death," said a regional government official.

No casualties have been reported among foreigners, an official with the foreign affairs office of the regional government said.

"We have not received any report that foreigners suffered injuries or death in the beating, smashing, looting and burning on Friday," the official said.

Armed police in Lhasa rescued more than 580 people, including three Japanese tourists, from banks, supermarkets, schools and hospitals that were set alight by violent saboteurs, Tibet Autonomous Region government sources said on Saturday.

More than 160 blazes, including 40 major fires, were reported after an outbreak of violent activities that ravaged the Tibet capital on Friday.

The Lhasa government published a letter late on Friday asking urban dwellers to show support for the government in its efforts to clamp down on perpetrators according to law.

"Cadres, workers and residents in Lhasa shall have a good understanding of the current situation, and be firm with the efforts to fight against all forms of secessionist activities," said the letter.

"Stay away from lawbreaking acts meant to cause social disturbances and harm the interests of the broad masses of the people, and consciously safeguard social stability and your own legitimate rights, support the government's crack down on all forms of criminal activities, so that together we can maintain harmony and stability in Tibet."

(Xinhua News Agency March 15, 2008)

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