China Sentences Tibetan Monks to Prison for Alleged Bomb Blast བོད་སྐད།

A court in China has sentenced eight Buddhist monks to prison for allegedly bombing a government building during an anti-government uprising in March.

A Tibetan activist group and a court official in the eastern Chamdo region of Tibet say two of the monks were sentenced to life in prison. The remaining six were sentenced to between five and 15 years.

Chinese state media have said the eight monks confessed to planting a homemade bomb at a government building on March 23rd. However, no casualties or damage were reported.

Peaceful protests against Chinese rule erupted into violence in March of this year and protests quickly spread from Lhasa to Tibetan-inhabited areas in China.

China launched a massive crackdown in response to the unrest, which Chinese officials say killed 22 people.

Tibet's government-in-exile says 218 Tibetans were killed and nearly seven thousand were detained during the crackdown.

It is unclear when the eight monks were sentenced. The London-based Free Tibet Campaign says they were sentenced on September 23rd.

The judge handling the case refused to specify the date, saying it happened a few days ago.

China blames Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, for the unrest and accuses his supporters of trying to sabotage the 2008 Beijing Olympics and throw off Chinese rule.

The Dalai Lama denies the accusations and says he only wants greater autonomy for the region.