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Tibet's Communist Party Leader Denounces Exiled Dalai Lama


A top Communist Party official in Tibet says China is engaged in a "life and death struggle" with the Dalai Lama as the Chinese government works to bring unrest in Tibetan communities under control.

In comments carried by state-run media Wednesday Zhang Qingli calls Tibet's exiled spiritual leader a "wolf in monk's robes," and urges party organizations and groups to "attack the enemy" and uphold social stability.

Peaceful protests against Chinese rule in Tibet began early last week and gradually turned violent. China has continually blamed the Dalai Lama for the unrest -- a charge he denies.

China says at least 13 people were killed in riots in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa last Friday. But, the Tibetan government-in-exile says at least 99 people have been killed in unrest over the past week.

Human rights groups say hundreds have been arrested following last week's riots and the International Campaign for Tibet estimates at least 900 were arrested in Lhasa on Saturday and Sunday.

China's official Xinhua news agency says 105 people involved in last Friday's riots have surrendered to police.

Meanwhile, aides to the Dalai Lama say he met today with leaders of exiled Tibetan protest groups in northern India as reports of more incidents of violence and protest continue to spread.

Tibetan groups have reported further pro-independence protests in Qinghai, Gansu and Sichuan Tuesday and the Tibet Autonomous Region.

The Tibetan government-in-exile says 19 Tibetans who were shot dead by security forces Tuesday in new protests in Gansu province.

Human rights groups have also released photographs that show Tibetans allegedly shot and killed by security forces in China's western province of Sichuan.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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