KANGDING, China -- China kept a tight lid across a huge swathe of riot-hit regions bordering Tibet on Monday, with a heavy security presence denying foreign reporters access.
An Agence France-Presse (AFP) reporter in western Sichuan province was prevented from moving out of the town of Kangding into restive Tibetan-populated regions on Monday.
Taxi drivers in the area said they had been ordered by police and the military not to drive westward out of the town.
A day earlier, the AFP reporter had traveled up into the now blocked regions, seeing more than 100 military vehicles, at least two military camps and dozens of police cars swarming the remote, mountainous region.
The Tibetan-populated region is about 200 kilometers (120 miles) south of Ngawa county, where Tibetan Buddhist monks clashed with police a week ago.
China has said four "rioters" were shot and wounded in that violence, while pro-Tibet groups say eight protesters were confirmed shot and killed, and the number of dead may have been much higher.
Those protests broke out in response to widespread rioting in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa on March 14, in the biggest challenge to Chinese control of the Himalayan region in two decades.
In Qinghai province, which neighbors Sichuan and Tibet, an AFP reporter on Sunday was turned back at a police checkpoint while trying to reach Jianzha, a village where the London-based Free Tibet Campaign reported a protest a day earlier by 1,000 Tibetan monks and lay people.
On Saturday, the same correspondent was turned back trying to reach Takster, the birthplace of exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, which is in Qinghai.
When shown a copy of new media regulations that are meant to give greater freedoms to foreign journalists in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics, a police officer near Takster said: "We don't agree with that."
China has prevented foreign media from independently verifying its claims that the exiled Dalai Lama orchestrated the violence and China's assertions it has responded to the unrest with minimal force.