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April 29, 2017

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Another Tibetan monk self-immolates in China

BEIJING -- A young Tibetan monk set himself on fire in southwest China, rights groups said Tuesday, the fifth reported case this year in what activists and experts say is a "rare" and "worrying" trend.

The 17-year-old from Sichuan province's Kirti monastery, the scene of repeated protests, shouted slogans against the Chinese government as he tried to self-immolate, the U.S.-based International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) said.

Citing Tibetans in exile with contacts in Aba town, where the incident occurred Monday, the activist group said the monk was immediately surrounded by security personnel who extinguished the flames, beat him and took him away.

The incident — confirmed by another Tibet rights group with contacts in the region — comes just one week after two other young monks set themselves on fire at Kirti in an apparent protest against perceived religious repression.

The restive Tibetan Buddhist monastery has been the scene of repeated protests, according to rights groups, and previous self-immolations in the region have triggered a crackdown.

ICT said Kelsang Wangchuk, the monk who set himself on fire Monday, carried a photo of the Dalai Lama when he mounted his protest.

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