Tibetan Protesters Arrested at Chinese Embassy in Nepal བོད་སྐད།

Police in Nepal's capital city have blocked a small protest by Tibetan exiles outside the Chinese embassy's visa office.

Witnesses said about 14 Tibetan protesters who had been chanting slogans against China's policies in Tibet were forced into a police van and driven away. Nepal has banned such protests outside the Chinese mission.

Police did not announce what specific charges they face, but local media quoted a city police chief as saying the protesters were detained for attempting to "destroy [the] friendly relationship between China and Nepal."

Last week, Nepalese authorities arrested 16 Tibetan exiles in the same place for protesting against China.

The recent protests have marked anniversaries of Tibetan uprisings against Chinese rule.

China claims Tibet has been part of its territory for hundreds of years, but many Tibetans insist the Himalayan region was independent until Chinese troops invaded in the 1950s.

Beijing accuses Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, of hoping to gain independence for the region. The Dalai Lama denies the accusation and says he is only campaigning for Tibet's cultural autonomy.

Last week, in a speech Wednesday marking the anniversary of the original Tibetan uprising in 1959, the Dalai Lama accused the government in Beijing of trying to deliberately annihilate Buddhism in Tibet. Chinese officials criticized his speech and said it proves that he is intent on dividing China.

Some information for this report provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.