Huge fire breaks out near holiest site in Tibetan Buddhism, Jokhang Temple

Huge fire breaks out near holiest site in Tibetan Buddhism, Jokhang Temple

Huge fire breaks out near holiest site in Tibetan Buddhism, Jokhang Temple

Robert Barnett, a London-based Tibetologist, tweeted that sources in Lhasa "claim police have threatened anyone distributing pictures or unofficial news about the fire".

Chinese media say the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region, caught fire on Saturday.

However, online footage showed a roof in flames and one pagoda gutted by the fire, BBC reported.

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Early reports of the blaze in Chinese state-run media did not give details and many social media posts discussing the fire appeared to be quickly censored. The incident occurred during the Losar festival, which celebrates the first day of the lunisolar Tibetan calendar.

The report said the blaze was extinguished and there were no casualties.

Later that year, dozens of monks burst into Jokhang temple to interrupt a state-run foreign media press tour meant to showcase the region's harmony and stability in wake of the protests, accusing the government of lying. It is included on UNESCO's World Heritage list. The cause and extent of damage is still under investigation.

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The Jokhang temple, also known as the Qoikang Monastery, is regarded by the Tibetans as the most sacred and important temple in Tibet.

Tibet has been ruled by China since the 1950s.

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