Tibetan attempts self-immolation in China: Groups

Tibetan attempts self-immolation in China: Groups 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 clear.

"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 shooting.

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.