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Asia & Pacific

China: Tibetan Monk Set Himself on Fire


In this photo taken on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009, Tibetan monks hang out at the Labrang monastery in Xiahe, Gansu province, China. Chinese tourism officials said Friday, Aug. 12, 2011, that foreigners have been barred from a county in northwestern China, with activists saying security in the area has been stepped up ahead of an expected visit by a government-appointed Tibetan religious leader. (AP)

Chinese state media says a Buddhist monk set himself on fire in a troubled ethnically Tibetan region of western China.

The Xinhua News Agency says the incident took place Monday in Sichuan province's Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. It didn't say whether the monk had died or give other details.

Remote Garze and other Tibetan parts of Sichuan have seen repeated outbreaks of unrest in recent years, often led by Buddhist monks angry with government restrictions on monastic life.

The Free Tibet Network in London identified the monk as 29-year-old Tsewang Norbu and said he shouted "Long Live the Dalai Lama" before setting himself alight. China bans public veneration of the exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader, who remains intensely popular among Tibetans.