`I will never forget their kindness. Without their help, I might have lain dead in the street,ÃÂh said Tan Yan, a middle-aged Han doctor from Lhasa, the capital city of southwest China`s Tibet Autonomous Region after hiding in a Tibetan`s home for four days.Tan Yan`s clinic was in East Beijing Road, downtown Tibet, a badly-hit area during the riots in the city. About two o`clock in the afternoon of March 14, Tan Yan took a phone call from a friend. His friend had just been attacked near the Jokhang Temple by a gang of Tibetans, and had had a lock of his hair ripped out. He warned Tan that `the city might be in chaosÃÂh and told him to close up the clinic and go home to seek safety.
Putting down the telephone, Tan Yan only half believed what his pal had told him. Suddenly there was the sound of commotion from all around. Tan ran out, and what he saw petrified him. Clouds of black smoke puffed into the sky in Barkhor Street to the west of the clinic. Some cars were burning furiously not far away. Some men in Tibetan clothes were willfully beating and stabbing passersby with sticks and knives. Others flung stones and homemade petrol bombs at shops along the street. And they were heading for Tan`s clinic.
Also read: The tragedy of Tibet | Special
Pictures and text courtesy China Features
Image: On March 14, 2008, Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet Autonomous Region, was hit by a violent riot. A woman escapes from the fire set by the mobs. - Xinhua / Chogo