RELIGION

Reports: Tibetan monk sets himself on fire in west China

A monitoring group and a U.S.-backed radio station say a Tibetan Buddhist monk set himself on fire in western China in an apparent protest against Beijing's rule.

Free Tibet and Radio Free Asia said the monk set himself ablaze in a public square in the town of Kardze on Saturday morning.

The unidentified monk was taken away after the fire was extinguished by security forces. It was uncertain if he survived.

If confirmed, it would be the 148th case of a Tibetan self-immolating since 2009, according to Radio Free Asia. At least 125 have died.

Eyewitnesses have said many cried out for Tibetan independence or prayed for the return of Tibet's exiled Buddhist leader, the Dalai Lama.

Local officials reached by phone said they were unaware of the reports.