Another Tibetan monk sets himself on fire

There are large communities of ethnic Tibetans in Sichuan province The protests come ahead of Tibetan new year and the anniversary of deadly riots in Lhasa

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Another monk has set himself on fire in south-western China - the fifth such reported case this month, rights groups say.

According to Free Tibet and the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), Lobsang Gyatso, 19, set himself on fire on Monday in Aba county, Sichuan province.

Police allegedly beat him while they tried to extinguish the flames.

It was not immediately clear if the monk survived.

Aba county, an ethnic Tibetan area that is home to the Tibetan Buddhist Kirti monastery, has been the scene of many of the self-immolations in recent months.

ICT, citing monks in exile and other Tibetan sources, said that two other Tibetans had tried to help Mr Gyatso, but were severely beaten by police.

On Monday China confirmed that a Tibetan nun died on Saturday, also in Aba county, after setting herself on fire.

In the last year, at least 21 young Tibetans have set themselves on fire in apparent protest against Beijing's rule.

Correspondents say Tibetan-populated parts of China are experiencing their worst unrest in four years, with at least three deadly demonstrations reported in January.

International media are denied access to the area, making it difficult to verify accounts.

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