Tibetan monks in a Chinese region rocked by a deadly protest said Tuesday they were too afraid to leave their monastery where injured people had taken refuge, as hundreds of armed forces patrolled outside.
The increased security comes after police opened fire on Tibetans protesting against religious repression and as Chinese authorities sealed off another Tibetan-inhabited area which was also rocked by a demonstration, the London-based Free Tibet campaign group said.
Both protests took place in the southwestern province of Sichuan — which has large populations of ethnic Tibetans, many of whom complain of a lack of religious freedom — and where unrest has been on the rise over the past year.
A monk reached by phone Tuesday at the Dragko Monastery in Luhuo — around one kilometre from the scene of the protest — said he estimated around 1,000 to 2,000 armed police were now standing guard.
“We are treating 32 injured people inside the monastery, and two of them are critical,” the monk, who would not be named, said.
Another monk reached by phone at a different time said they were too afraid to take the wounded to an outside hospital due to the strong security presence, adding those protesting on Monday had now gone home.
“More police are coming, we just want peace,” he said.
The government and police in Luhuo refused to comment.