Tibetan Government-in-Exile Says 19 More Shot Dead in New Protests བོད་སྐད།

Tibet's India-based government-in-exile says at least 99 people have been killed in unrest over the past week, including 19 Tibetans who were shot dead by security forces Tuesday in new protests in China's western Gansu province.

Witnesses in the Gansu county of Machu say police blocked off the streets after Buddhist monks and other Tibetans held a rally there. Witnesses tell VOA (Tibetan service) that they could confirm that at least 12 people were killed.

Chinese authorities have confirmed only the deaths of 13 people they described as "innocent civilians" in Friday's riots in the Tibetan capital Lhasa.

Reuters news agency quotes China's state-run television as saying today that 100 people involved in last week's riots in Lhasa have turned themselves in.

An official in Tibet (Baima Chilin) told state media that the individuals were "participants" and that some were directly involved in burning, looting and other acts of violence that took place when peaceful protests turned violent last week.

China says Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, is orchestrating the protests that have spread from Lhasa to other regions, including Beijing. It also denies using deadly force to stop the protests.

The Dalai Lama voiced his opposition to any acts of violence today, pledging to step down as head of the Tibetan government-in-exile if the situation gets out of control.

Meanwhile, protests by Tibetan exiles in Nepal continued today near the United Nations headquarters in Kathmandu. Exiles in a Tibetan refugee camp in Nepal's capital have also begun a hunger strike.

Details of recent events in Tibet are difficult to verify because Chinese authorities have not permitted foreign journalists to report from the region.

Chinese media today published more accounts of alleged violence carried out by Tibetan rioters Friday against Han Chinese and Chinese Muslims. Official media also carried reports criticizing Western press coverage of the events, and defended China's response to what the media called criminal activities.

China has controlled Tibet since 1951. The Dalai Lama and thousands of his followers fled from Tibet to India in 1959, during a failed revolt against Chinese rule. China denounces the Dalai Lama as a crusader for independence, but he says he has campaigned for nothing more than true autonomy for his homeland.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.