Beijing: A Tibetan self-immolated near the
restive Kirti monastery in southwest China on Saturday and police
fired on a crowd of locals who attempted to rescue the burned
body, rights groups said.
The 16th self-immolation attempt to hit Tibetan areas in
less than a year, the incident occurred in Sichuan province`s
Aba county, scene of sporadic unrest since a monk set fire to
himself and died last March, Free Tibet and the International
Campaign for Tibet (ICT) said.
It was not immediately known if the Tibetan died in the
latest incident -- nor was the person`s gender immediately
"There is an emergency situation in Aba after a layperson
self-immolated and was beaten badly by police," Kate Saunders,
director of Washington-based ICT told AFP over the telephone.
"Free Tibet can confirm that at least one woman has been
shot," Stephanie Brigden, director of the London-based
campaign group said.
It was not immediately known if the woman survived the
ICT said its sources inside China also said police had
fired on the crowd.
Saunders said ICT`s sources told her "locals tried to
drag the body away and police fired, causing more people to
gather in the street."
Free Tibet said an eyewitness source described the
situation as "terrifying," that "a strong gas" was used on the
crowd and that "many had fallen to the ground" and were then
beaten and detained.