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China prohibits entry of foreigners to Tibet
March 17, 2008 08:23 IST
China has prohibited the entry of foreigners to Tibet and asked the tourists currently there to leave following the worst-ever violence in two decades in the region's capital stemming from pro-independence protests that have left 10 people dead.
The regional government of Tibet has suspended handling the application of foreigners to travel to Tibet due to "safety concerns", a local official said, as the riot-hit mountain city of Lhasa remained tense since last week's widespread violence.
More than 20 foreign tourists had left Tibet safely with the help of the local government, Ju Jianhua, director with the regions Foreign Affairs office, was quoted as saying by official Xinhua news agency.
The local civil aviation, railway and highway departments would facilitate foreign travellers who want to leave, the official said.
Lhasa police had said earlier that they have rescued more than 580 people, including three Japanese tourists, from the violence.
Chinese security forces are keeping a hawk-eyed vigil in Lhasa, as the local government launched a "people's war" to crush the unrest.
No fresh bloodletting was reported on Sunday in Lhasa where violence erupted in full fury on Friday during the protests launched by the Buddhist monks as part of the stir to mark the 49th anniversary of the failed Tibetan uprising against the 57-year Chinese rule.
The government's deadline for rioters to surrender or face punishment ends on Monday.