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Six Tibetan pilgrims prostrated themselves face down on the road, then rose, took three paces forward and repeated the dusty act of devotion around the 250-year-old monastery.
It is a ritual that Tibetans have practiced for centuries. Despite wars and a communist takeover, the Tibetan people's age-old attachment to their Buddhist faith remains.
But a deadly development on this eastern edge of the high Tibetan plateau has made this small community tense and fearful.