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Tibetan mother of 3 dies in self-immolation

Her death in a Tibetan region of China's Sichuan province follows a similar protest by two Tibetan Buddhist monks who set themselves on fire in Lhasa.

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A Free Tibet candlelit display showing the pictures of Tibetans who died of self immolation is seen during a protest in front of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on February 22, 2012. (Aaron Tam/AFP/Getty Images)

A Tibetan mother of three has died after setting herself on fire, according to London-based Free Tibet and other groups.

The woman, said to be in her 30s, died after self-immolating Wednesday outside a monestary in Aba county, a mainly Tibetan region of China's Sichuan province.

Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported this was the 38th self-immolation in Tibetan areas of China since 2009. 

It follows a similar protest by two Tibetan Buddhist monks, who on Sunday set themselves on fire outside the Jokhang temple in Lhasa, the first reported self-immolations in the capital of China's Tibet Autonomous Region.

More from GlobalPost: Tibetan Buddhist monks self-immolate in Lhasa

The BBC reported that Chinese security forces have launched a crackdown in Lhasa following the two self-immolations.

While there have been several such incidents in Tibetan areas of China outside Tibet, these were the first in Lhasa.

Witnesses to the immolations have been arrested, and Tibetans from outside Lhasa sent back home, the BBC said.

Radio Free Asia quoted a source as saying the situation in Lhasa was now "very tense" and the city was filled with police and paramilitary forces.

More from GlobalPost: What compels a Buddhist nun to burn herself alive?

The Dalai Lama last year blamed a "cultural genocide" in Tibet, under the Chinese government's hard-line approach to the region, for the trend of self-immolations of Tibetan monks and nuns.

China says Tibet has always been part of its territory, but many Tibetans argue the region was virtually independent for centuries, and accuse Beijing of suppressing their religion and culture.

The Dalai Lama has lived in exile in India since 1959 after fleeing a failed uprising against Chinese rule in Tibet.

While the Dalai Lama now insists he seeks only more autonomy for his homeland, not independence, Beijing remains sensitive about Tibet amid continuing tensions.

More from GlobalPost: Dalai Lama blames "cultural genocide" in Tibet for self-immolations