Finally China admits that it “shot” at some protesters. But is it much too little too late? Watching the video from the BBC of the confrontation that perhaps started all of this; I am moved to tears.

Chinese police opened fire and wounded four protesters “in self-defence” last Sunday in a Tibetan area of Sichuan province, the Xinhua news agency says.

It is the first time China has admitted injuring anyone since anti-Chinese protests in Tibet began last week.

Xinhua said police opened fire in Aba county – the same place that Tibetan activists said eight people were killed during protests near Kirti monastery.

Activists released graphic photos of dead bodies showing bullet wounds.

China has said that only 13 people have been killed during the protests, and that all were innocent and killed by “rioters” in Lhasa.

The Tibetan government in exile has said at least 99 people have died so far, including 80 in Lhasa – and have accused the security forces of firing on crowds.

Earlier on Thursday, China admitted for the first time that the protests had spread outside the Tibetan Autonomous Region to nearby provinces in south-western China where large numbers of ethnic Tibetans live.

In a phone call to her Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged China to show restraint and enter dialogue with the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists.

Meanwhile White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said President George W Bush would go ahead with a visit to the Beijing Olympic Games in August despite the unrest, and would use the opportunity to speak openly to President Hu Jintao.

Map of Unrest: (Clearly shows that it’s more than just Lhasa…)

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