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Tibetan Self-Immolates Near Qinghai Military Base

  • VOA News

Video-still from activist group claims to portray self-immolation of Sonam Thargyal, a 44-year-old farmer, Qinghai province, China, March 23, 2012 (file image).

Video-still from activist group claims to portray self-immolation of Sonam Thargyal, a 44-year-old farmer, Qinghai province, China, March 23, 2012 (file image).

A Tibetan nomad has died after setting himself on fire in a remote region of northwestern China in protest of Chinese rule.

The Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy says the man self-immolated Friday in front of a Chinese military compound in Qinghai province.

A friend of the man who set himself on fire said the man was in his late-50s. He is believed to be the oldest person to self-immolate among the dozens of Tibetans who have done so since 2009 to protest Beijing's policies in Tibet.

China's official Xinhua news agency confirmed a person died of self-immolation Friday in Qinghai province but gave no details.

Tibetan exile groups say hundreds of people demanded the return of the man's body. The head of Free Tibet said the man's act was a "clear and absolute rejection of Chinese rule."

Locations of self-immolations in Tibet

Locations of self-immolations in Tibet

Most of the incidents of self-immolation have taken place since March of last year to protest what Tibetans say is repression by China, which denies the accusations. Self-immolators often call for the freedom of Tibet and for the return of the Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in India.

Many of the self-immolations have occurred in Tibetan-populated areas of southwestern China.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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