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Grassland Fire Kills 22 in Tibetan Region


In this Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010 photo, paramilitary firemen fight a grassland fire near Zilong village in Daofu county, in southwest China's Sichuan Province. At least 22 people have died after the grassland fire they were fighting in southwestern China turn

Chinese state media say a grassland fire in a Tibetan region of southwest China has killed at least 22 people and injured three others.

The official Xinhua news agency says the fire broke out Sunday at noon local time in a grassy area of the Garze Tibetan autonomous region of Sichuan province.

It says the fire spread quickly because of gusty winds, trapping soldiers and other people who were trying to put it out. It says the dead include 15 soldiers, two grassland administration workers and five residents.

Three people suffered serious burns.

Xinhua says the fire was brought under control within three hours. The blaze affected an area six kilometers from the seat of the local government of Garze's Daofu county.

The news agency says 89 percent of Daofu's 45,000 residents are ethnic Tibetans.

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