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World News

Tibetan women protest in Nepal, over 500 detained

Tibetan protesters resist arrest in Kathmandu May 11, 2008. Nepali police detained 562 Tibetan women at an anti-China rally in Kathmandu on Sunday, the first all-women protest against Chinese rule in their homeland, officials said. REUTERS/Gopal Chitrakar

KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Nepali police detained 562 Tibetan women at an anti-China rally in Kathmandu on Sunday, the first all-women protest against Chinese rule in their homeland, officials said.

Some shouted “We want free Tibet” while others wept as they were dragged along the road to police vans and trucks and driven to detention centers. Many were wearing black armbands and had their mouths gagged with cloths.

Nepal considers Tibet part of China, a key donor and trade partner, and has been cracking down on protests by the exiled Tibetans against Beijing.

Police said the protesters would be freed later.

Exiled Tibetans have been protesting regularly ever since deadly riots broke out in the Tibetan capital Lhasa in March, followed by demonstrations in other Tibetan areas of China.

Many Tibetans are furious over the crackdown against protesters in Tibet and resent China’s decades-old rule of the Himalayan region.

The Lhasa riot broke out after days of protests centered on the anniversary of the failed 1959 Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule.

More than 20,000 Tibetans have been living in Nepal since fleeing their Himalayan homeland after the failed uprising.

“We are not against Nepal. Our protests are against China. So why are they arresting us?” asked a 70-year-old protester who gave her name as Chinjhoke, tears rolling down her face.

Reporting by Gopal Sharma; Editing by Bappa Majumdar and Alex Richardson

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