At least 32 people were injured and one was killed when Chinese security forces opened fire on a group of Tibetan protestors. The incident happened in Luhuo, which is also known as Draggo in the Tibetan language. Luhuo is in the most western part of the Sichuan province.
This is the second time in less than two weeks that security forceshave shot at Tibetan protestors. The other shooting happened inAba, which is in the same province and about 100 miles from Luhuo. Two people were wounded in that shooting.
According to the director of Free Tibet, Stephanie Brigden, these incidents show just how quickly the situation is deteriorating between China and Tibet.Free Tibet is a rights group based out of London and Brigden said that tensions in the area after the shooting today are high.
There is no report by the Chinese news agency, Xinhua, on the shooting; however, today is a holiday in China in celebration of the Lunar New Year. Internet access in theSichuan province has been cut off, according to reports, in an effort by the government to slow down reports of the violence.
The protestor who died has been identified as Norpa Yonten. He was 49 and a layman, but was also a reincarnated lama’s brother, according to another Tibetan rights group, The International Campaign for Tibet. This group reported that there were 49 people wounded, but only nine were shot. The others were treated at a local clinic for injuries received from beatings and physical confrontations. Many people in China who suffer a gunshot wound do not got to the hospital. They are scared that authorities could retaliate against them or they may be tortured to give up information on who shot them.
China has anticipated that there will be more protests from Tibetans, especially during the new year, which Tibet celebrates a month later than China. As a result, China has blocked travel by foreigners insideTibet from February 20 until March 31.