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Five rioters detained in Tibet

China detains five suspects for their alleged role in burning 10 persons to death during the protests in Tibet.

world Updated: Mar 24, 2008 22:39 IST

China on Monday detained five suspects, including three women, for their alleged role in burning 10 persons to death during the worst pro-independence protests since 1989 in Tibet, even as it claimed that order had been restored in the violence-scarred Himalayan region.

Three women suspects had set fire to a shop after the marauding mobs had looted it and fled which caused the death of five women in their 20s, Chinese Ministry of Public Security spokesperson Shan Huimin was quoted as saying by the Xinhua news agency.

"Two more male suspects were involved in torching a motorbike shop, which caused the death of five persons who had taken refuge in a room on the second floor," Shan said.

The protests by monks to mark the 49th anniversary of the uprising against China's rule had begun peacefully before erupting into violence that has left 19 people dead and over 700 injured in Tibet and Sichuan and Gansu provinces.

China has mobilised its troops and riot police on a massive scale to put down the biggest ever challenge posed by the pro-independence protests, which it has blamed on what it calls the "Dalai Lama clique".

China has accused the Dalai Lama of masterminding the riots targeting the Olympics, which the Nobel laureate living in exile in India has dismissed.

Shan said that the riots have been calmed down and social order has been restored in Lhasa.

Government has said that the riots have caused an economic loss of USD 34.7 million in Tibet.

Nearly 200 rioters have surrendered so far, police claimed.

China has defied growing global clamour to hold the dialogue with the Dalai Lama and has insisted that he must recognise Tibet and Taiwan as inalienable parts of China and create conditions for talks.