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Tibet's Government in Exile Says 130 Killed in Protests

By VOA News
24 March 2008

Tibet's India-based government in exile now says 130 people died in the recent clashes between protesters and Chinese authorities in Tibet.

Tibetan exile groups had previously said at least 80 people were killed in Lhasa, and that clashes in other Chinese provinces killed nearly 20 others. The Chinese government puts the official death toll from the past week's riots at 19.

Rights groups have been calling for a boycott of the Beijing Olympic Games in August because of the crackdown in Tibet.

The president of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, told reporters Monday in Ancient Olympia, Greece, that the IOC is concerned about the violence in Tibet. In an interview with the The Associated Press, Rogge said he is engaged in "silent diplomacy" with China on Tibet and other human rights issues.

Rogge has declined to condemn Beijing, and says the Olympics should remain non-political. But, he says the IOC joins world leaders in calling for a peaceful resolution of the situation in Tibet.

On Sunday, the Indian-based Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy reported fresh protests in a Tibetan county of Qinghai province.

Protests in other areas of Qinghai province have been reported in the past week. Chinese authorities have tried to prevent foreign correspondents from verifying reports made by Tibetan exiles.

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