At least one person has been killed as several thousand Tibetans in southwestern China marched on government offices calling for greater religious freedom and an end to corruption and police opened fire.
Tibetan exile groups reported at least three Tibetans were killed, while Radio Free Asia said the number could be as high as six.
The violence happened in the Luhuo country of Sichuan Province.
China's official Xinhua news agency reported on protester was killed and five policemen injured in clashes but did not mention any gunfire.
Reports noted a greatly increased police presence in the area following the violence.
Another Tibetan protest was reported in Aba county, some 300 kilometers from Luhuo county, but there were no further details.
Chinese authorities have been distributing leaflets calling on Tibetans not to celebrate the Chinese New Year after at least 16 Tibetans committed self-immolation since March.
compiled from agency reports