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20th Tibetan self-immolates in China as thousands march (VIDEO)

Vigils held to draw attention to violence.

Tibet 20 self immolation 02082012Enlarge
Tibetans offer prayers near mock coffins to represent the victims of self-immolation during a rally in Siliguri today. China said it would 'resolutely crack down' on any attempts to instigate violence in Tibetan-inhabited areas, where authorities have launched a deadly clampdown on protesters. (DIPTENDU DUTTA/AFP/Getty Images)

Another Tibetan self-immolated today in China, bringing the total number of people to 20 in the past year who have taken the drastic steps to protest Chinese rule and support the Dalai Lama.

The latest incident reportedly involved a monk, who The Associated Press said shouted pro-Tibetan slogans before setting himself ablaze. There was no word on his condition because he was taken away immediately by police.

Voice of America said today’s latest self-immolation happened near a school in Ngaba, and that two monks were arrested.

More from GlobalPost: Tibet’s exiled premier blames human rights violations on self-immolations

Tibet's exiled government called for worldwide prayer today in light of recent violence.

In China, 1,000 people marched in two Qinghai provinces in the northwest. VOA said there was no reports of violence.

Lobsang Sangay, the Tibetan leader, said Chinese troops are mobilizing near Tibet as the Feb. 22 Tibetan New Year approaches. March 10 also marks 53 years since the 1959 Tibetan uprising.

"If the Chinese government thinks that the Tibet issue can be solved through violence, intimidation, then it's not going to happen, because the Tibetan spirit is strong," Sangay said from Dharmsala, India.

Sangay said Chinese troops “fired indiscriminately” into a crowd, killing six Tibetans during recent marches, VOA reported.

Tibet has called for independence since China occupied the country in 1950. A failed uprising in 1959 forced the Dalai Lama to flee into India.

More from GlobalPost: Monk’s body paraded in China 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/120208/20th-tibetan-self-immolates-china-thousands-march