Police seize weapons, ammunition in southwestern China monastery

Updated: 2008-03-30 11:19

ABA COUNTY - Police have seized guns, bullets, explosives and knives in the Geerdeng Monastery in Aba County of the southwestern Sichuan Province, according to local authorities on Saturday.

A total of 30 guns, 498 bullets, four kilograms of explosives and a large amount of knives were seized, while communication facilities including satellite phones, receivers for overseas TV channels, fax machines and computers were confiscated on Friday, said local police.

In the bedrooms of some monks, police also captured flags of "Tibetan-government-in-exile" and banners written "Tibet Independence".

Twenty-six suspects were caught for alleged involvement in a riot on March 16 that caused a chaos in Aba, said police, adding that some of the suspects had confessed that the riot, masterminded by the Dalai clique, was organized and premeditated, aiming at undermining public order and misleading world opinion so as to sabotage the Olympic Games and ethnic unity.

The turmoil in Aba, following the March 14 Lhasa unrest, saw rioters shouting slogans of "Tibet Independence", carrying rocks and self-made petrol bombs or waving flags of "Tibetan-government-in-exile" storm government offices, police stations, hospitals, schools, banks, shops and markets, among others.

Nyigeme, who is in charge of the the Geerdeng Monastery, said that the number of registered monks in the monastery was 600. "But there are at least 1,000 monks in the monastery now as there are always visiting monks from elsewhere like Qinghai and Gansu provinces," he said.

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