Tibetan woman self-immolates in China: group

A 26-year-old woman immolated herself Tuesday in a Tibetan-populated region of northwest China after chanting slogans calling for the return of the Dalai Lama, the Free Tibet campaign group said.

Dolkar Kyi made her desperate gesture at Tso monastery in Kanlho prefecture (Gannan in Chinese), a region of Gansu province which in 2008 saw a lot of protests against Beijing's rule, said the London-based group.

The body of the young Tibetan was being watched over by monks from the monastery, said Free Tibet. It was not possible to confirm the latest immolation incident with the Chinese authorities.

More than 40 people have set themselves on fire in recent months in Tibetan-inhabited areas of China in protest at repressive government policies, according to Free Tibet.

The Tibetan capital Lhasa was the scene of violent anti-Chinese government protests in 2008, which later spread to other areas inhabited by Tibetans, and authorities have kept the city under tight security since then.

China's propaganda chief in July ordered officials to intensify the fight against separatism in Tibet.

Tibetans have long chafed under China's rule over the vast Himalayan region, charging that Beijing has curbed religious freedoms and their culture is being eroded by an influx of Han Chinese, the country's main ethnic group.

Beijing, however, says Tibetans enjoy religious freedom and have benefited from improved living standards brought on by China's economic expansion.

The latest incident comes after a Tibetan man set himself alight on Monday in the town of Aba in the southwest province of Sichuan, according to Free Tibet.

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