- Associated Press - Sunday, July 19, 2015

BEIJING (AP) - China says the cause of death of a Tibetan lama who was serving a life sentence was cardiac arrest.

Tenzin Delek Rinpoche died 13 years into a sentence on charges of financing and supporting a series of terrorist bombings and secession activities. His supporters say the charges were trumped up.

The 65-year-old had studied under the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in the 1980s and been recognized by him as a reincarnated lama.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported late Saturday that a prison guard had found Tenzin Delek suffering from respiratory failure about two hours after the monk began to take his usual nap on July 12. Prison doctors gave him emergency treatment and he was taken to the hospital and declared dead.

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