China pours troops into Tibet, admits shooting protesters
21 Mar 2008, 0305 hrs IST,AFP
BEIJING: Thousands of soldiers were seen in Lhasa on Thursday amid reports of a huge military build-up as China admitted for the first time it had shot Tibetan protesters.
State-controlled Xinhua news agency reported four people were shot and wounded last weekend by police in a Tibetan area of southwestern China, as the Dalai Lama expressed fears the crackdown on unrest had caused many casualties.
Long military convoys were on the move in Tibet while troops also poured into nearby provinces after a week of violence directed against China's rule of the Himalayan region, witnesses, activist groups and media reports said.
"We saw a big convoy of military vehicles with troops in the back," German journalist Georg Blume said from the Tibetan capital Lhasa early on Thursday.
"One convoy was about two kilometres (1.2 miles) long and contained about 200 trucks. Each had 30 soldiers on board so that's about 6,000 military personnel in one convoy."