Nepal: Everest pro-Tibet protesters may be shot
KATHMANDU, Nepal (CNN) -- Nepal has given its security personnel permission to shoot pro-Tibet demonstrators during China's Olympic flame climb to Mount Everest's summit early next month.
Everest and the Himalayan mountain range seen from the air.
"About 25 soldiers and policemen have established camps on the mountain and they have been ordered to use force if necessary to stop any anti-Chinese activities," Mod Raj Dotel, spokesman for the home ministry, said Sunday. "This could mean shooting if necessary."
Security personnel will also check mountain climbers for non-essential expedition materials, Dotel added.
"If anyone is found with anti-Chinese material their permit will be canceled and returned from the mountain," he said.
Chinese climbers plan to take the Olympic flame to the top of the world's highest peak, at 8,848 meters (29,028 feet) as part of the global relay leading up to the August 8 opening of the Summer Olympics in Beijing.
Spring is the most popular season for climbing Mount Everest, which straddles the border between Nepal and Tibet, an autonomous region of China.
The Nepali government has granted permits to dozens of climbers from 30 expeditions this season.
But between May 1 and May 10, climbers are barred from going above 6,400 meters until the torch run is completed. China plans to take the Olympic flame to the summit sometime then.
Harsh weather conditions allow only about two opportunities in May for a push to the summit.
The Chinese have not allowed any expedition to climb the mountain from the north side, according the Kathmandu representative of the Tibet China Mountaineering Association.