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Apr 14, 2008

Did monks plant a bomb?

Nine monks held after Tibet blast

By Richard McGregor in Beijing (Financial Times)

Published: April 14 2008 02:46 | Last updated: April 14 2008 02:46

Nine monks have been arrested in Tibet for detonating a home-made bomb inside local government offices, Beijing has announced. The arrests are the latest sign of continuing conflict after last month’s protests in the Himalayan region.

The statement, carried by Xinhua, the official news agency, said the monks from the Tongxia monastery were arrested last week, a fortnight after the explosion on March 23 in Tibet’s Gyanbe township.

The brief dispatch said the bomb had been taken to the township on a motorcycle by a 27-year-old “ringleader”, but did not say how big the explosion had been or whether there were casualties. The monks fled after the explosion and “confessed their crimes” after their arrest, Xinhua said.

As foreign reporters and diplomats are banned from travelling to Tibetan areas, apart from a handful of government tours, information on such arrests and the alleged bombing cannot be independently confirmed.

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