BEIJING (AP) — A rights group says two Tibetan teenagers died after setting themselves on fire outside a monastery in southwest China in the latest such protests against Chinese rule.
London-based Free Tibet says the incidents pushed the number of confirmed self-immolations to 51 since 2009.
The group says 18-year-old monk Lobsang Kalsang and 17-year-old former monk Damchoek set themselves on fire Monday outside Kirti Monastery in Sichuan province's Aba county. They died Monday evening after they were taken to a hospital by Chinese authorities.
Supporters say the self-immolators are protesting Beijing's heavy-handed rule in Tibetan regions and are calling for the return of the Dalai Lama. China has blamed the Tibetans' exiled spiritual leader for inciting the immolations, but the Dalai Lama denies the claim.