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Chinese Mongolians Launch Protests Over Shepherd's Death

  • VOA Tibetan

Hundreds of ethnic Mongolians staged rare demonstrations in China this week, fueled by anger over the death of a shepherd who was hit by a Chinese truck driver.

The New York-based Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center says a protest march was staged Monday in the town of Xilinhot in China's Inner Mongolia. The center has released dozens of photos posted on Chinese microblogging websites showing demonstrators facing off against police in front of the city government building.

The shepherd, identified only as Mergen, was run over and killed as he and others were trying to block coal mining trucks from driving over land used for grazing cattle.

The Xilinhot government issued a statement saying at least two people have been arrested in connection with Mergen's death.

Ethnic Mongolians have complained of being marginalized by China's dominant ethnic Han group, who have migrated to the region to tap its vast coal reserves.

Similar frustrations over Han Chinese migration have sparked violent and even deadly protests in Tibet and western Xinjiang province.

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