Sixty-one police were injured in last Friday's riot in Lhasa, six of them seriously, said Qiangba Pungcog, chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Regional Government, at a press briefing in Beijing on Monday.
Rioters attacked public security personnel in an extremely cruel manner while they were maintaining order and refrained from using weapons, said the chairman.
"For instance, the rioters beat a patroling police officer until he got into coma, and rioters cut out a piece of flesh, as big as a fist, from his buttock," he said.
Some rioters stoned patrol officers around 11:00 a.m. on March 14 at the Ramogia Monastery in Lhasa. They then gathered around the Bargor street, chanting "independence" slogans and going on a destruction rampage.
The violence accelerated quickly. The mob set fire to shops, vehicles and pedestrians that passed by. Schools, banks, hospitals and communication facilities were also their targets, Qiangba Pungcog said.
He stressed that throughout the incident, both public security personnel and armed police exercised restraint, and showed great professional spirit and adherence to law. "They didn't carry or use any lethal weapons," he added.
(Xinhua News Agency, March 17, 2008)