China sends more troops to restive areas

BEIJING – China sent additional troops into restive areas and made more arrests in the Tibetan capital Lhasa in an effort to suppress anti-government protests even as the Dalai Lama offered face-to-face negotiations with Chinese leaders.

Government officials acknowledged for the first time that the sometimes violent protests against Chinese rule of Tibet have spread to Tibetan communities in other provinces after sweeping through Lhasa last week.

Hundreds of paramilitary police aboard at least 80 trucks traveled along the main road winding through the mountains into southeastern Tibet. Others set up camp and patrolled in riot gear, helmets and, for a few, rifles in the area above Tiger Leaping Gorge, a tourist attraction that usually sees little unrest.

Such scenes were repeated across far-flung towns and villages in Tibetan areas of adjacent provinces to reassert control as sporadic demonstrations continued to flare. Foreigners were barred from traveling there and tour groups were banned from Tibet, isolating a region about four times the size of France.

The protests against Chinese rule started peacefully in Tibet’s capital, Lhasa, early last week, but erupted into riots last Friday, drawing a harsh response from Chinese authorities. Authorities say 325 people were injured and 16 people died.

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