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White House omits Tibet from earthquake condolence list

Tibet earthquake kills 25, injures 117

Beijing: The death toll in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region due to Saturday’s earthquake and its aftershocks, climbed to 25 today, even as rescuers continued to reach out to the affected people in the remotest of areas.

Besides, a total of 117 have sustained injuries, state- run Xinhua news agency reported.

Death Toll Rises Following Powerful Earthquake In Nepal

The 7.9 Richter Scale tremblor that struck Nepal on Saturday also affected parts of Tibet. The two border ports to Nepal were seriously affected. The earthquake also affected the south-western part of Tibet, especially Xigaze City.

The city has 18 counties and prefectures, and a population of more than 700,000.

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Press Secretary Josh Earnest made a subtle omission during his press briefing Monday.

The White House spokesman offered the U.S. government’s “deepest condolences to … the families of those who died in Nepal, but also the families of those who died in India and Bangladesh.” But he neglected to mention another region directly affected by the earthquake’s devastation — dozens of deaths have been reported in Tibet, an autonomous region contested by separatists and the Chinese government.

Earnest’s phrasing Monday echoed a statement made Saturday by NSC spokesperson Bernadette Meehan, who referred to “widespread damage and loss of life in Nepal, India and Bangladesh.”

Though the final death toll in each country is not yet clear, the Associated Press reported on Monday that the Chinese government had identified 20 deaths in Tibet, while only two were reported in Bangladesh on Saturday.

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