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Buddhist monk "first to self-immolate in Tibet"

A former Buddhist monk has reportedly set himself on fire in Tibet – becoming the 12th to self-immolate this year, and the first to do so in the Tibet Autonomous Region.

Tibet lhasa monk 2011 08 15Enlarge
A Tibetan Buddhist monk walks on the Potala Palace square on June 19, 2009 in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region, China. (Feng Li/Getty Images)

Activists say a former Buddhist monk has set himself on fire in Tibet – becoming the 12th to self-immolate this year, and the first to do so in the Tibet Autonomous Region, the Guardian reported.

The monk, named Tenzin Phuntsog, did not die from his injuries, and is said to be receiving medical treatment in Changdu, where the incident took place on Thursday.

More on GlobalPost: Dalai Lama blames "cultural genocide" in Tibet for self-immolations

The details of the self-immolation were provided by the Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet, which cited exiled Tibetan sources.

Police in the Changdu prefecture declined to answer journalists' questions, Reuters reported, adding that one Tibetan official said authorities “have not got any information about the case."

Since March this year, 11 monks and former monks are understood to have set themselves ablaze in protest against Chinese rule, but the incidents occurred in Tibetan areas of Sichuan Province, the BBC reported.

At least six of them died.

The International Campaign for Tibet said the former monk, 46, was from Changdu's Karma monastery, which had been locked down in October after a rumored bomb blast at a local government building, the Guardian reported.

China has blamed the exiled Tibetan leader, the Dalai Lama, for the self-immolations, and labeled those setting themselves on fire as “terrorists.”

The Dalai Lama said the incidents were caused by the desperate conditions faced by Tibetans funder Chinese rule. He has opposed all violence.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/china/111202/buddhist-monk-self-immolate-tibet