Tania Branigan

September 27, 2011

Two monks set fire to themselves in a Tibetan town in western China on Monday, months after the brother of one of the men died in a self-immolation, according to the Free Tibet campaign.

The campaign group said Lobsang Kalsang and Lobsang Konchok, both aged 18 or 19 and from Kirti monastery in Aba county, Sichuan, had called for religious freedom and shouted “Long live the Dalai Lama” before burning themselves.

State news agency Xinhua said two monks had been rescued by police and had suffered slight burns and were in a stable condition, adding: “The suicide attempt is under further investigation.”

In all, five monks have set fire to themselves in Sichuan within the last two and a half years. Prior to that, the only known case of a self-immolation protest by a Tibetan was by a layman living in exile in 1998.

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