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China to Prosecute Tibetan Refugees Involved in Border Clash


China's foreign ministry says it will prosecute a group of Tibetans who were detained and reportedly fired upon while trying to flee to Nepal last year.

A foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said Thursday that she believes it was an organized large-scale border-crossing, which violates Chinese law.

The human rights group, International Campaign for Tibet, has said Chinese police tortured and interrogated 25 of the refugees, including 10 children, in late September on the Tibet-Nepal Border.

The group also says Chinese police held some of the children for three months and only released them after their caretakers paid a fine.

China has not responded to the allegations.

Refugee groups have accused Chinese forces of shooting to death two of the Tibetans as they crossed Mount Cho Oyu, on the China-Nepal border.

Chinese officials say their troops shot in self-defense.

Forty-one of the refugees escaped to India.

Hundreds of Tibetans cross the Himalayas from their Chinese-ruled territory to Nepal every year. Some try to reach a northern town in India, where the exiled spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama, lives.

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