Tibet Nun, 18, Sets Self Ablaze
Free Tibet says teen died from injuries as tension escalates
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 12, 2012 9:11 AM CST
In this undated photo released by Free Tibet on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012, a Tibetan nun who the overseas activist group identified as Tenzin Choedon is shown at the Mamae Nunnery.   ((AP Photo/Free Tibet))

(Newser) – An 18-year-old Tibetan nun has set herself on fire in western China in the latest such protest against Beijing's handling of the vast ethnic Tibetan regions it rules, an overseas activist group said today. Free Tibet said in a statement that the nun had died after setting herself ablaze yesterday. The young woman, identified as Tenzin Choedon, was a nun at the Mamae Nunnery in Sichuan province's Aba prefecture.

It said Choedon shouted slogans of protest against the Chinese government before setting herself on fire at a junction close to the nunnery. "Soldiers and police came immediately and took her away," Free Tibet said. "Soldiers then surrounded the nunnery and sealed it off." As many as 18 monks, nuns, and ordinary Tibetans have set themselves on fire over the past year, and Free Tibet says at least 12 died from their injuries. The Mamae nunnery has a history of showing fierce loyalty to the Dalai Lama. In October, a 20-year-old nun from the same monastery died after setting herself on fire and a group of nuns at Mamae staged a protest march in 2008.