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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Second Tibetan Self-Immolation Strikes Near Historic Monastery

October 23, 2012

by VOA News

For the second time in as many days, an older Tibetan man has set himself on fire to protest Chinese rule in Tibet.

Witnesses say 57-year-old Dorjee Rinchen set himself on fire Tuesday outside of the military headquarters in Labrang, not far from highly respected Labrang Monastery. They say onlookers shielded Rinchen's burning body from Chinese authorities to make sure it could be returned to his family.

Activists say Rinchen was well-respected and had been the appointed leader of the village of Sayue. He leaves behind a wife, a son and a daughter.

Rinchen's self-immolation comes just one day after a 61-year-old farmer named Dhondup set himself ablaze near the monastery.

The monastery is located in China's northwestern Gansu province and was the scene of deadly protests against Chinese rule in 2008.

Tuesday's self-immolation is the third in four days. On Saturday, a man named Lhamo Kyab died after setting himself on fire outside the Bora monastery in Sangchu.

Since February of 2009, at least 58 Tibetans have set themselves on fire to protest Chinese policy in Tibet. In 48 cases the protesters have died.

China has long-accused Tibetan exiles of self-immolating as part of a separatist struggle, denouncing them as terrorists.

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