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Tibet to reopen for foreign tourists soon - agency

Tibet will reopen for foreign tourists soon as life in China's remote mountain region is coming to normal, the Chinese news agency Xinhua reported on Sunday.

The unrest in Tibet started on March 10 when Buddhist monks held a demonstration to mark the 49th anniversary of a failed uprising against Chinese rule, which erupted into widespread protests on March 14.

After the riot, the Tibet authorities stopped issuing tourist permits to foreigners, citing safety concerns.

"We are going to receive overseas tourist groups in the very near future," a deputy director of the Tibet Autonomous Regional Tourism Bureau was quoted by Xinhua as saying.

The remote southwestern Chinese region received 4 million tourists from both home and abroad in 2007, a 60% increase on 2006, the agency said.

Several European leaders earlier said they may boycott the Olympic opening ceremony over China's crackdown on the protests and refusal to negotiate with Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

Beijing says only 19 people died and 623 were injured in the riots while the supporters of the exiled Tibet spiritual leader say that the Chinese troops killed at least 100 civilians.

RIA Novosti


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