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Tibet Turmoil: Shops reopen, vehicles back on streets as Lhasa calms(3)
2008/03/16

LHASA, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Many shops were reopened and private cars and taxi cabs were back on the streets on Sunday in Lhasa, as the city returned to calm after Friday's riot.

Reporters at Xinhua'sLhasa branch saw many stores along the western Beijing Road, western Jinzhu Road and southern Linkuo Road open on Sunday afternoon. Taxis and private cars were back on the roads.

Yangzom, a woman of Tibetan ethnicity who lives on westernJinzhu Road, said her life remained largely unaffected by the riot. "Grocery stalls and shops in my neighborhood are still open," she said.

On the westernBeijing Road, a private gas station was in business. "Shop opens for the day now, and closes during the night," its owner Wang said.

But most shops in theOld Town area were still closed. Several shops were partially burnt down, while charred wreckages were strewn about some sections of the streets.

The regional government has mobilized soldiers and civil servants on Sunday afternoon to clear the legacies from the turmoil at the worst-hit areas in downtownLhasa.

The cleaners are sweeping garbage, shoveling away stones, removing overturned cars and burnt motorcycles and bicycles off the Bargor , Duosenge, easternBeijing, Yutuo, northern Linkuo and eastern Jiangsu streets, all in the Old Town area of the plateau city.

"The social order of the once riot site will be gradually restored," said an official with the regional government.

An outburst of commotion broke the peace ofLhasa on Friday afternoon. Sources with the local government said on Saturday that at least 10 people were confirmed dead, mostly civilians who were burned.

The rioters torched buildings for civilian use at 160 places, including banks, a press establishment, shops, schools and hospitals. Dozens of vehicles, including police wagons, were burnt down.

Lhasa mayor Doje Cezhug, who is in Beijing for a parliamentary session, told reporters on Sunday that, upon his knowledge, the city is now calm.

"We didn't enforce martial law there," he said .

He said the unrest was provoked by a handful of monks and lawless persons aimed for sabotage.

"These acts are completely targeted at disturbing the happy and stable life of people inTibet," he said, adding that the government is able to maintain stability for the people.

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