Tibetan Jailed for Setting Blast at Television Tower


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KATHMANDU, May 27, 2004 — ; Chinese authorities in Tibet have jailed a 32-year-old Tibetan man after he confessed to causing an explosion near a television tower outside the Tibetan capital Lhasa, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reports.

The man, identified only as Penpa and aged about 32, has been jailed indefinitely after he admitted under interrogation to causing the May 20 explosion, sources told RFA's Tibetan service on condition of anonymity.

"There was an explosion on May 20 around 11:30 p.m. at a cable relay tower in Rak Township, in the Ngachen area. When the local security officials learned of the explosion, they dispatched a team to investigate," one source said.

"They arrested 16 Tibetans for interrogation. Later they released nine and detained the other seven for more interrogation. On May 24, Penpa confessed that he placed explosives at the cable TV relay station," said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The remaining six detainees were warned against discussing the case and released.

Officials in Ngachen, which is under the Lhasa city government, declined to comment. A local police officer said he knew nothing about any such explosion.

Rak Township is about 45 kms east of Lhasa. Residents are mainly employed in stone work, and possession of explosive devices is permitted to facilitate mining.


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