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Deadly ethnic riots in Tibet. News Team

Multiculturalism doesn’t work in China either.

Protests led by Buddhist monks against Chinese rule in Tibet turned violent Friday, bathing Lhasa in smoke from tear gas, bonfires and burned shops, and posing a challenge to China on whether its image can withstand a harsh crackdown ahead of the Beijing Olympics.

At least 10 people died in the rioting, state media reported.

From exile in India, the Dalai Lama appealed to China not to use force to end the largest, most sustained demonstrations in nearly two decades against Beijing’s 57-year rule in Tibet. China’s government in Tibet accused the Dalai Lama’s supporters of inciting the unrest and imposed a curfew, ordering people to stay indoors.

Eyewitness accounts and photos posted on the Internet portrayed a chaotic scene in Lhasa, the provincial capital, with crowds hurling rocks at security forces, hotels and restaurants. The U.S. Embassy said Americans had reported gunfire.

Reports of deaths varied and could not be independently verified, but China’s official Xinhua News Agency said Saturday that 10 people were confirmed dead. The dead included “business people,” according to an earlier Xinhua report. The agency also has said no foreigners were hurt.

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