(The Blaze/AP) — A Tibet activist group says two people have set themselves on fire in southwest China in the latest in a series of apparent self-immolation protests against Chinese rule.
The London-based Free Tibet said witnesses saw a man set himself on fire Friday near a monastery in Aba prefecture in Sichuan province. It says security forces put out the flames and took the man away. His condition is unknown.
Free Tibet says someone else died about the same time in a self-immolation nearby. It gave no other details.
The claims could not be confirmed. A woman at the prefecture government office Saturday said she knew nothing about the incidents.
China says Tibet has always been part of its territory, but many Tibetans say it was virtually independent for centuries.
Shocking video emerged in November of an alleged buddhist nun engulfing herself in flames on a city street in protest against Chinese rule. If true, Free Tibet says Friday's self-immolation are the 13th and 14th such acts in protest to Chinese oppression since March of last year.
Chinese authorities routinely deny Tibetan claims of oppression, although they have confirmed some cases of self-immolations and accused supporters of the Dalai Lama of encouraging such acts. The Dalai Lama and representatives of the self-declared Tibetan government-in-exile in India say they oppose all violence.