Tibetan monk self immolates in Nepal

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — A Tibetan monk died Tuesday after setting himself on fire in Nepal’s capital in what is believed to be the latest protest against Chinese rule over Tibet.

The man died after he was rushed to the Tribhuwan University Hospital in Katmandu with burns over most of his body, said police official Prakash Dhakal.

The monk set himself on fire near the Boudhanath shrine in the northeastern edge of Katmandu, police officer Manoj Chetri said. Police and residents put out the flames and rushed him to the hospital.

Police were investigating but have not been able to identify him beyond that he is a Buddhist monk.

It is the second self-immolation of a Tibetan in Nepal this year. The first person died in February. Since then, Nepalese authorities had stepped up patrols in areas of Katmandu where Tibetan refugees live to try to stop any similar protests.

The latest self-immolation happened in an alley near the main area of shrine, which was crowded with Buddhist monks, local residents and tourists.

Thousands of Tibetan exiles live in Nepal and occasionally protest against China. The Nepalese government has banned such demonstrations, saying it cannot allow any activities against friendly nations to take place.

Nepal allows Tibetans to pass through Nepal, traveling from their homeland to Dharmasala, India, where the Dalai Lama lives and a self-declared exile government is based.

More than 100 Tibetans in their ancestral homeland or in nearby Chinese regions have self-immolated since 2011 to protest Chinese rule or to call for their spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to return to Tibet. China says he is inciting the protests, which he denies.

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