Washington: Chinese authorities have arrested five Tibetans, mostly Buddhist monks, for persuading three people to set themselves on fire.
The five Tibetans were arrested by police in northwestern Gansu province and included a 21-year-old monk from neighboring Sichuan.
According to the official Xinhua News Agency, three of the other Tibetans were identified as local monks.
The state media report said the five are accused of recruiting three people and encouraging them to self-immolate in late October and November last year, saying their sacrifices would contribute to the Tibetan cause, ABC News reports.
Xinhua said the Tibetans were being instructed by the overseas Tibetan Youth Congress and journalists with the US-government-funded broadcaster, Voice of America.
The arrests are the latest in an intensified crackdown on self-immolations by Chinese authorities in tightly controlled Tibetan areas, the report said.
In recent months, Tibetans have been arrested for encouraging others to self-immolate and have been handed sentences ranging from a few years in jail to death with a two-year reprieve, which is usually commuted to life imprisonment, it added.