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Chinese official urges vigilance in Tibet

Kyodo News/Associated Press

Armed Chinese police patrolled yesterday in a Tibetan area of Chengdu in China’s Sichuan Province, near Tibet.

BEIJING - The top Communist Party official in Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, has urged security personnel to step up surveillance of monasteries and along pivotal roads through the region during what he warned would be a period of heightened social turbulence.

“Strive to realize the goal of ‘no big incidents, no medium incidents, and not even a small incident,’ ’’ the official, Qi Zhala, said in comments published yesterday in the state-owned Tibet Daily.

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The comments came at time of increasing tension in ethnically Tibetan parts of China, especially in the southwestern province of Sichuan.

Last week at least three people were shot and killed by Chinese forces during protests in the remote, mountainous portions of the province bordering Tibet, according to Tibetan exile groups outside China. Scores of others were reportedly wounded, although the reports could not be verified because the entire region is off limits to foreign journalists.

The government-run news media have vacillated between censoring accounts of the episodes and blaming the Western media for exaggerating the violence.

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