Tibetan protesters detained in Nepal

Aug. 08, 2008, 8:06 a.m. (ET)

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) Police in Nepal's capital broke up a protest by Tibetan exiles in front of the Chinese Embassy's visa office Friday, detaining more than 400.

The protesters, many of them women, gathered outside the visa office in downtown Katmandu, despite a ban on demonstrations in the area.

"China thief, leave our country. Stop killing in Tibet," some of them chanted.

Several managed to slip through the line of police and reach the gates before they were grabbed by officers. Most of the demonstrators were detained.

Police official Ramesh Thapa accused the protesters of trying to storm the office and violating the ban.

Thapa said more than 400 protesters were taken to several detention centers and would likely be freed in the evening.

Tibetan exiles in both Nepal and India have been staging frequent protests to show their support for the unrest that erupted in Tibet's capital in March.

The March protests were some of the biggest in almost 50 years of Chinese rule. Many Tibetans insist they were an independent nation before communist troops invaded in 1950, while Beijing says the Himalayan region has been part of its territory for centuries.