March 18, 2008 / 7:00 AM / in 11 years

Tibetan protesters attack London's Chinese embassy

LONDON (Reuters) - Pro-Tibetan protestors threw eggs, tomatoes and sticks at the Chinese embassy in London on Monday during a demonstration in support of Tibetans involved in recent violent clashes in their country.

Police and organisers try to contain protestors as tension rises during a Tibet protest in London March 17, 2008. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Around 200 protestors gathered across the road from the embassy to hold a minute’s silence at 4 p.m., the deadline imposed by China for those involved in last week’s violent clashes in Tibet to hand themselves into authorities.

At one point, about 50 of the demonstrators surged across the road towards the door of the embassy, throwing placards, eggs and tomatoes.

“We just wanted to knock on the door and say we’re there,” said one protestor.

One woman was injured when she fell in the rush.

“The Chinese are literally killing Tibetans. The media reports coming out of there are totally biased towards the Chinese. We can’t just sit here and do nothing,” said Phurbu Rinzin, 25, one of six students who began a 24-hour hunger strike during the protest.

While Chinese officials claim just over a dozen people have died in Tibetan areas of China since Friday’s protests, exiled representatives of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India, put the protest death toll closer to 80.

British member of parliament Norman Baker and European Parliament vice-president Edward McMillan-Scott pledged their support to those gathered.

“We are outside the Chinese embassy - that building represents a terror state,” McMillan-Scott told protestors.

“I believe all politicians of conscience in the European Union’s 27 countries should unite in condemnation of what is taking place today in Tibet. We should now begin in the EU a serious debate about a boycott of the Beijing Olympics.”

There have been daily pro-Tibet protests around the world since last Monday, the 49th anniversary of an uprising against Chinese rule.

French riot police resorted to the use of tear gas to disperse around 500 pro-Tibetan supporters outside the Chinese embassy in Paris, while New York police said protestors there threw rocks at officers near the Chinese consulate.

A spokesman for China’s foreign ministry said it strongly condemned attacks on its embassies abroad, calling them a serious threat to safety.

Additional reporting by Andrew Hough; Editing by Stephen Addison

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