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Tibetan Exiles: Chinese Police Detain 15 Protesters

Tibetan exiles said police in southwestern China have detained 15 Tibetans who marched in support of their exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

Tibetan exiles based in the northern Indian town of Dharamsala said they learned of the arrests after speaking by telephone with residents of China's Sichuan province.

The Tibetan exiles said Chinese police detained 14 activists who staged a peaceful pro-Tibet march Monday in the town of Litang in Sichuan's Garze Tibetan autonomous prefecture. They said a Tibetan monk staged a similar protest in Litang a day earlier.

The Tibetan exiles said the demonstrators chanted slogans praising the Dalai Lama and calling for Tibetan independence before being beaten and detained by Chinese police.

The protests and arrests could not be independently confirmed. China does not allow foreign reporters into Tibetan regions without official permission.

The Dharamsala-based Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy condemned what it called the brutal use of force by Chinese security forces on peaceful Tibetan demonstrators. It urged China to disclose the location of the detainees and release them unharmed.

Beijing has barred foreigners from Tibetan areas ahead of next month's 50th anniversary of a failed Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule.