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Monks held after Qinghai police attack

POLICE have arrested six people and 89 others surrendered after a riot in northwest China's Qinghai Province on Saturday, authorities said yesterday.

Several hundred people, including nearly 100 monks from the Ragya Monastery, attacked the police station of Ragya Township of Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Golog on Saturday afternoon.

They also assaulted policemen and government staff. Some government staff were slightly injured.

Most of the people dispersed at 5pm and some 30 others were persuaded to leave early yesterday morning, Golog prefectural authorities said.

A government working team was sent to the monastery in the early hours yesterday to ask suspects to surrender.

As of 9am, police had arrested six participants in the attack. Eighty-nine others surrendered to police. All but two of the 95 were monks in the Ragya Monastery.

Police said the people were deceived by rumors about Zhaxi Sangwu, who had escaped from the police station in Ragya Township on Saturday.

Zhaxi Sangwu was under investigation for being involved in advocating "Tibet independence," police said. He managed to run away from the police station on the excuse of using the bathroom and is still missing.

A search for monks who joined the attack and ran away continues, according to Ju Kezhong, a Golog official, and the social order of the Ragya area has been restored.

Police were interrogating the suspects.


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