Beijing: The first Tibetan nun burnt herself to death in China apparently demanding the return of the Dalai Lama amid reports of police firing in neighbouring Sichuan province on demonstrators protesting Chinese rule.

The ninth incident of its kind incident prompted China to accuse 'Tibetan government in exile' for instigating monks.  She is the first woman and the ninth Tibetan in the area to set herself on fire to protest perceived repression.

The London based Free Tibet campaign group said Tenzin Wangmo, 20 immolated herself on Monday Aba prefecture, a mainly ethnic Tibetan part of the southwestern province of
Sichuan calling for religious freedom in Tibet and for the return of the Dalai Lama.

According to Chinese news agency a man set himself on fire on Saturday near a market in Aba. Police extinguished the flames and sent him to a local hospital.

The 20-year-old man had previously been a monk at Kirti Monastery, which is becoming centre of resistance against Chinese authorities during the past few months.

"Information from Tibet suggests there are more who are willing to give their lives determined to draw global attention to the persistent and brutal violations Tibetans suffer under Chinese occupation," the Free Tibet group said in a statement.

"The acts of self-immolation are not taking place in isolation, protests have been reported in the surrounding region and calls for wider protests are growing," it said.

It said two persons were wounded in police firing. However officials of the Foreign Ministry here said they were not aware of any such incident.

"Some organizations with political motives have been spreading rumours and it's not the first time that (they have used) this practice of misleading the public," a statement by
the Ministry's spokesman said.

"We hope everyone treats such information with caution," it said. Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin who last week criticised the Dalai Lama for not denouncing the self-
immolations said on Tuesday that "we believe that promoting and encouraging harm to life is immoral".

A news agency report quoted Chinese religious affairs officials as saying that the recent self-immolation attempts by Tibetan monks showed signs of being instigated by a "clique
jockeying for power in the overseas Tibetan community under the Dalai Lama."

Several Tibetan monks made self-immolation attempts in Aba County of Aba Tibetan-Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, this year.

All of them were current or former monks of Kirti Monastery, it said. Kirti is a monastery of the Gelugpa, also known as the Yellow Hat Sect. It is one of 42 monasteries in Aba County, an area with 5,226 registered monks.

Song Tendargye, head of Aba's religious affairs bureau, told Xinhua that the recent self-immolation attempts came at a time when the Kirti Monastery clique of the exiled Tibetan
Group have struggled to regain clout under the Dalai Lama.

The official said Kirti Monastery's former monk once served as the private aide to the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso after he fled to India in 1959 and, later, became a senior religious official of Dalai Lama's "government-in-exile".

"But the clique's clout dwindled after he left his post in the early August," it said.

"The Kirti clique recently set up an emergency coordination team to work closely with key groups and agencies under the Dalai Lama and his "government-in-exile" in an effort to regain its clout", the report quoted Sumton Dargye as saying.

The team, under the instruction of the Dalai Lama group, is tasked to establish contacts, collect information and plot destabilising acts in Aba, the report said.

Song Tendargye said the Tibetan community in Aba was disgusted that Kirti's former Living Buddha (Monk) led prayer services for those who had attempted self-immolation.

Ha Jun, deputy chief of the religious bureau in Aba, said a gang of four Kirti Monastery monks were widely suspected to have masterminded a series of suicide attempts.

On March 2, 2011, they plotted a self-immolation and spread photos of the scene on the web within two hours, he said.

"The monks who made the move were all young with little education and were, therefore, unable to tell right from wrong," Qing Quan, an official with Aba County's religious affairs bureau said.

(Agencies)