China Arrests Buddhist Monks for Bombing Tibetan Govt Building བོད་སྐད།

Chinese authorities have detained nine Buddhist monks suspected of bombing a government building in Tibet during anti-Chinese protests last month.

The state-run Xinhua news agency reported Saturday the monks detonated a homemade bomb inside an office building March 23rd in Tibet's Qambo prefecture.

The news agency said the monks were arrested April 6th. No casualties or damage were reported.

The arrest is the first report of a bombing since protests against Chinese rule in Tibet erupted last month.

Chinese President Hu Jintao Saturday said the unrest is an internal problem of preserving national unity, not an ethnic, religious or human rights problem.

China accuses Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, of organizing the violent protests in a drive for Tibet's independence.

The Dalai Lama said Saturday the idea that he has "militant power" is "nonsense."

The 72-year-old was speaking at a conference on compassion in the (northwestern U.S.) state of Washington. The Nobel Peace laureate has led a peaceful campaign for Tibetan autonomy since he fled the region in 1959.

China has controlled Tibet since 1951.

Exiled Tibetan leaders say about 140 people have died since Chinese security forces took action against protesters last month. China says about 20 people have died, and blames the casualties on Tibetan rioters.

The international community is urging China to open talks with the Dalai Lama. German Chancellor Angela Merkel today has promised to meet the Dalai Lama. Their last meeting strained relations between Germany and China.