BEIJING - The number of Tibetans who have set themselves on fire in protest at Chinese rule of their homeland has topped 50 after two teenagers burned to death in a southwestern corner of the country, a rights group said.
The pair, one an 18-year-old monk and the other a 17-year-old former monk, died on Monday after setting themselves on fire outside the Kirti monastery in Ngaba, a heavily Tibetan part of Sichuan province, the London-based Free Tibet group said.
Their protest brings to 51 the number of Tibetans who have set themselves alight since 2009, when the burnings first began, Free Tibet said in an emailed statement dated Aug. 27.
At least half of them are believed by rights groups to have died, while scores of other Tibetans have been reported detained by security forces after protests that follow the burnings.
"Free Tibet has grave concerns for the well being of the hundreds of Tibetans who we know are in detention following protests," Free Tibet Director Stephanie Brigden said.