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13 civilians burned or stabbed to death in Lhasa riot
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Thirteen innocent civilians were burned or stabbed to death in last Friday's Lhasa riot, said Qiangba Puncog, chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Regional Government, at a news briefing in Beijing on Monday.

He cited two cases of what he described as brutality.

In one case, a civilian was reportedly doused in gasoline by rioters and burned to death alive. In the second case, rioters beat a patrol policeman unconscious, and then cut a piece of flesh from his buttocks.

"People of all ethnic groups in Tibet were indignant about violence and brutality displayed in Lhasa and strongly condemn them," said Qiangba Puncog.

Tibet Autonomous Regional authorities responded quickly, and mobilized security personnel to deal with the riots in accordance with law, he said.

The security personnel also helped extinguish fires, rescue the injured, and protect schools, hospitals, banks and government institutions, he said.

"We adopted these measures with the purpose of safeguarding social stability, the rule of law and fundamental interests of people of all ethnic groups in Tibet," he said, adding the situation had calmed down in Lhasa, and stability had returned.

"What confused me and made me indignant was that the Dalai clique and some Westerners labeled the destructive rampage of the rioters as 'peaceful protests', but called our actions to deal with the brutal acts committed by the rioters as 'repressing peaceful protests', said Qiangba Puncog. "I think that just confuses black with white."

He believed no democratic country would tolerate the brutality carried out by the rioters in Lhasa on Friday.

(Xinhua News Agency March 17, 2008)

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