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Nepal has released 18 Tibetan exiles detained earlier this month for protesting outside the Chinese embassy's visa office.

Katmandu Chief Administrator Laxmi Dhakal said the group was released Monday after it was determined they no longer posed a security threat.

Police arrested the group of 23 Tibetans exiles during a March 10 demonstration marking the anniversaries of Tibetan uprisings against Chinese rule.

Three of them were released last week. The Associated Press says two others were freed for health reasons.

China claims Tibet has been part of its territory for hundreds of years, but many Tibetans insist the Himalayan region was independent until Chinese troops invaded in the 1950s.

Beijing accuses Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, of hoping to gain independence for the region. The Dalai Lama denies the accusation and says he is only campaigning for Tibet's cultural autonomy.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and myrepublica.com

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