Two Tibetan Buddhist monks have set themselves on fire in Lhasa, the US-based broadcaster Radio Free Asia said, in the first reported self-immolations in the capital of China's Tibet Autonomous Region.
The monks reportedly set themselves on fire on Sunday outside a Buddhist temple in Lhasa, which has been under heavy security since deadly riots broke out in 2008.
Radio Free Asia said the two were believed to be among a few Tibetan youths who gathered to protest against Chinese rule outside the renowned Jokhang temple, and that they appeared to have died in the blaze.
"The security forces arrived immediately and put out the fire and all the tourists in the area were cordoned off from the site," a witness told the broadcaster.
"Within 15 minutes, the area was cleaned and not a trace of the incident was left."
More than 30 people have set themselves on fire in China's Tibetan-inhabited regions since the start of March 2011 in protest at what they say is religious and cultural repression by the Chinese authorities.
Security authorities in Lhasa contacted by telephone refused to comment on the latest incident, the first to occur in the Tibetan regional capital.
"We are not clear about the situation yet. Wait until the media makes an announcement," said an official who declined to give his name.
A woman contacted by telephone at a Lhasa hotel also declined to speak about the incident.
"Something did happen here yesterday, but it's not convenient to say more," she said.
Internet searches for the Chinese name of the temple where the reported immolations occurred, Dazhaosi, were blocked in China on Monday.