China says rebuilding major western Buddhist learning center

China says it is rebuilding a major center of Buddhist learning in the country's west, following reports last year that the complex was being demolished and its residents evicted.

An official and state media on Tuesday said the project aims to eliminate dangers to safety and health at Larung Gar, which had been home to thousands of monks, nuns and laypeople studying the religion.

County government spokesman Jiang Zhiming told The Associated Press that some buildings had been razed to clear passages for firefighters. He didn't say how many Buddhist faithful remained at the site, but said about 800 had been resettled in a nearby town.

A sprawling mountainside settlement made of thousands of log cabins had provided accommodation for residents and visitors attending short-term study courses.