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October 22, 2012

Tibetan Self-immolates at Labrang Monastery in NW China

by VOA News

Another Tibetan has set himself on fire and died to protest Chinese policies in Tibet.

Rights groups say a 61-year-old farmer named Dhondup set himself ablaze Monday near the remote Labrang Monastery in China's northwestern Gansu province. Some witnesses said monks from the monastery surrounded the charred body to prevent Chinese officials from claiming the remains.

The groups say Dhondup left behind a wife and an adopted son.

The highly respected Labrang monastery was the scene of deadly protests against Chinese rule in 2008.

Monday's self-immolation is the second in three days. On Saturday, a man named Lhamo Kyab died after setting himself on fire outside the Bora monastery in Sangchu.

Since February of 2009, at least 57 Tibetans have set themselves on fire to protest Chinese policy in Tibet. In 47 cases the protesters have died.   

China has long-accused Tibetan exiles of self-immolating as part of a separatist struggle, denouncing them as terrorists.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.