Tibetan monks burn themselves to death
Four Tibetan monks have died after setting themselves on fire in protest against Chinese rule, the region's government-in-exile has claimed.
A series of self-immolations this year has shocked Tibet, with seven monks or former monks having set themselves on fire.
In the past fortnight, there have been five cases in the town of Aba, the site of Kirti monastery.
The Tibetan parliament, operating from Dharamsala, India, blamed the monks' suicides on a "deteriorating situation" in Tibet and said the victims found "China's occupation and repression intolerable".
It said that four of the seven monks had died, including Kaying (18) and Choephel (19), who had left the monastery and were dressed in laymen's clothes when they set themselves on fire last week.
It added that the condition of the other three was "still unknown".
The claim contradicts reports in the official Chinese media, which said that four of the monks were being treated for "light wounds".
The Tibetan parliament called for the world to send "fact-finding delegations to ascertain the situation on the ground inside Tibet".
It also announced that it will hold a day of solidarity next Wednesday.
Attempts to contact Kirti monastery and others in the area were unsuccessful.
Human rights campaigners have reported that all communications to the monastery have been blocked and that 80pc of the 2,500 monks have been forced to leave. (© Daily Telegraph, London)