A Tibetan nomad in a remote village of northwestern China died after setting himself on fire to protest Chinese rule in the region. The Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy says the man self-immolated Friday in front of a Chinese paramilitary police compound in Qinghai province.
A friend of the man who set himself on fire told VOA's Tibetan service the man was in his late-50s. He is believed to be the oldest person to self-immolate among the 39 Tibetans who carrried out such protests since 2009.
China's official Xinhua news agency confirmed that 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 Organization said the man's act was a "clear and absolute rejection of Chinese rule."
Most of the incidents of self-immolation have taken place since March of last year to protest what Tibetans say is repression by China. 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.