About 200 Tibetan protesters hurled petrol bombs, burning down a police station, a market and houses in a county in southwest China on Sunday, a police officer said.
The demonstrators also torched two police cars and a fire truck in Aba county, Sichuan, one of four provinces with large Tibetan populations bordering the Himalayan region of Tibet.
“We have no way to put out fires now,” the officer, who did not identify herself, said. The officer, speaking even as the main government building in Aba county came under siege later, said protesters also hurled rocks, injuring several paramilitary policemen.
“They’ve gone crazy,” the officer said, her voice shaking. Security forces fired tear gas to disperse the crowd and arrested five people, including two women, she added. About 100 paramilitary policemen were mobilised to guard the main government building.
The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said monks from the Amdo Ngaba Kirti monastery, also in the Aba prefecture, raised the banned Tibetan flag and shouted pro-independence slogans after their morning prayer session on Sunday.
Chinese forces stormed the monastery, fired tear gas and prevented the monks from taking to the streets, the centre said in an email. The monastery houses about 2,800 monks.
On Saturday, more than 10 monks were arrested and five others injured in a crackdown by security forces on Taktsang Lhamo Kirti monastery in Sichuan’s Dzoge county, the centre said.