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Police Beat Tibetan Protesters in Nepal

BINAJ GURUBACHARYA   03/30/08 07:16 AM ET   AP

Tibetans Beaten

KATMANDU, Nepal — A group of 200 Tibetan exiles and monks tried to storm the Chinese Embassy visa office in Nepal's capital on Sunday but police beat them back with bamboo batons.

At least 130 protesters were arrested and some of the demonstrators and policemen were injured in the scuffle.

The protesters reached the metal gate of the fortified compound and were kicking and trying to push it open when police armed with bamboo batons raced to the scene and began beating them.

"Stop the killing, stop the killing," the protesters chanted as they charged toward the office gate.

Tibetans have protested in front of the Chinese Embassy visa office in the heart of Katmandu in the past, but it was the first time they had reached the gate and tried to push through.

Sunday's protest is the latest by Tibetan monks and refugees in Katmandu against Chinese authorities' crackdown on recent demonstrations in Tibet.

Police officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, citing policy, said those arrested are being held in several detention centers and will likely be freed later in the day. They will not face any charges.

Nepal has said it would not allow protests against any "friendly nation," including China.

International rights groups, like New York-based Human Rights Watch, and the United Nations have repeatedly criticized Nepal's handling of the Tibetan protests and beating of the protesters.

Nepal has not issued any statement on the Chinese crackdown in Tibet.

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Filed by Nick Graham  |