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Body of self-immolated Tibetan monk 'publicly paraded' in China

Protesters in Qinghai province, China, publicly paraded the burnt body of a Tibetan monk named Sopa who died by self-immolation yesterday, according to reports.

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This picture taken on October 19, 2011 shows a monk at a monastery in Shanba township in China's Sichuan province. (PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Protesters in Qinghai province in China have publicly paraded the burnt corpse of a Tibetan Buddhist monk who died after setting fire to himself yesterday, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported.

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According to RFA, the monk, identified as 42-year-old Sopa, self-immolated yesterday morning in front of a police station in Darlag county, in Golog Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. He is said to have distributed leaflets calling for Tibetan independence, then drunk kerosene, thrown it over his body and set himself alight.

His body "exploded in pieces" before being taken away by police, a source said. "Several hundred Tibetans" then marched to the police station to demand the remains, and reportedly smashed windows and doors when their request was initially denied.

Witnesses told RFA that when police eventually handed over the monk's body, the crowd paraded it through the streets. According to one source:

"Only the head and chest parts [of the body] are intact, the rest were in pieces when Tibetans received the remains from the police."

Security in Darlag has since been tightened and extra Chinese security forces deployed, RFA reported.

According to the Associated Press, China's state news agency Xinhua confirmed that a monk died by self-immolation, but identified him as 40-year-old Nyage Sonamdrugyu. His body was returned to relatives for burial, its report said.

The monk's death followed another two self-immolations on Friday in China's Sichuan province, one of them fatal, the AP reported. At least 15 Tibetan monks and nuns are believed to have self-immolated in the past year, in protest at Chinese rule and the Dalai Lama's exile.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/china/120109/tibet-monk-sopa-self-immolation-body-paraded