Tibetan monk fire
At least 15 Buddhist monks and nuns have resorted to self-immolation over the past year to protest against Chinese rule in Tibet (Reuters)

Three Buddhist monks have set themselves on fire in the latest incidents of self-immolation to protest against Chinese rule in Tibet.

One man died and another was seriously injured after setting themselves alight in the Aba prefecture of Sichuan province, western China.

The state-run Xinhua news agency said the pair were former Tibetan monks.

In a separate incident, a 42-year-old Tibetan monk set himself on fire in Qinghai province, northwest China, after distributing leaflets saying he would act "not for his personal glory but for the glory and the happiness of Tibetans", Radio Free Asia reported.

His body was paraded through the streets by hundreds of Tibetans after protesters stormed the police station in Dari county in the Tibet autonomous prefecture of Golog, demanding that his remains be handed over.

There has been a wave of self-immolation incidents in China in recent months, as Tibetans resort to the measure as a means of protesting against China's continued rule over their country.

At least 15 monks, nuns and former monks have set themselves on fire in the past year, mostly in traditional Tibetan areas of Sichuan province.

Most of the self-immolations have been accompanied by calls for Tibetan freedom and the return of their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, who fled to India amid an abortive uprising against Chinese rule in 1959.

The Dalai Lama has condemned the incidents, but accused China of forcing such desperate acts on people through a policy of "cultural genocide".

China routinely claims that it brings economic development to impoverished Tibetan communities and blames the Dalai Lama for coordinating and inspiring such protests.