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Tibetan Teens Die After Self-Immolation

A rights group says two Tibetan teenagers have died after setting themselves on fire outside a monastery in southwestern China.

The London-based Free Tibet said a 18-year-old monk and a 17-year-old former monk set themselves on fire on August 27 outside the Kirti Monastery in Sichuan Province.

They died after they were taken to a hospital by Chinese authorities.

Free Tibet said the incidents pushed the number of confirmed self-immolations to 51 since 2009.

At least half of them are believed to have died.

Supporters say the self-immolators are protesting Beijing's heavy-handed rule in Tibetan regions and are calling for the return of their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

China branded the self-immolators criminals and blames the exiled Dalai Lama for inciting them.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters