Chinese authorities have arrested five Tibetans, mostly Buddhist monks, whom they allege persuaded three people to self-immolate at the behest of foreign forces.

The official Xinhua news agency said on Thursday the five Tibetans were arrested by police in the north-western Gansu province and included a 21-year-old monk from neighbouring Sichuan.

The five are accused of recruiting three people and encouraging them to self-immolate in late October and November last year, saying their sacrifice would contribute to the Tibetan cause.

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