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Dalai Lama Says He Will Resign if Tibet Violence Worsens བོད་སྐད།

Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama says he will resign if violence in his homeland becomes worse.

Speaking today in Dharamsala India, the Nobel Peace laureate told reporters that events were out of his control.

Earlier, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao blamed the Dalai Lama and his followers for orchestrating violent protests in Tibet. Mr. Wen said rioters caused heavy loss of life and the government acted with extreme restraint in putting down the protests.

Chinese authorities say 13 "innocent civilians" died in Friday's riots in the Tibetan capital Lhasa.

The Indian-based Tibetan government-in-exile says at least 99 people have been killed in unrest over the past week, including 19 who were shot dead by security forces today in fresh protests in China's northwestern Gansu province.

Protests against Chinese rule have spread to other Tibetan communities inside the mountainous Himalayan region and other parts of China. Late Monday night, Tibetan students at the Central University for Nationalities in Beijing staged a candle-light vigil.

Witnesses have reported a heavy military presence on the streets of Lhasa. Security personnel have conducted house-to-house searches for participants in last week's demonstrations.

Details of recent events in Tibet are difficult to verify because Chinese authorities have not permitted foreign journalists to report from the region.

Chinese media today published more details of alleged violence carried out by Tibetan rioters Friday against Han Chinese and Chinese Muslims. Official media also carried reports criticizing Western media coverage of the events, and defended China's response to what the media called criminal activities.

China has controlled Tibet since 1951. The Dalai Lama and thousands of his followers fled from Tibet to India in 1959, during a failed revolt against Chinese rule. China denounces the Dalai Lama as a crusader for independence, but he says he has campaigned for nothing more than true autonomy for his homeland.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters