Security forces reportedly shoot Tibetan monk who set himself on fire

February 28, 2009 08:14

A Tibetan Buddhist monk in western China set himself on fire in an apparent protest against government religious restrictions and was shot by security forces, international Tibetan advocacy groups reported Saturday. The monk, identified as Tapey, was shot Friday afternoon in the Tibetan town of Aba in Sichuan province, according to Free Tibet, the International Campaign for Tibet, and, a news site affiliated with the Dalai Lama's India-based government in exile. They said Tapey was carried to a van and driven away to an undisclosed location, possibly a hospital. No details were available about his condition. Many Tibetans have reportedly heeded calls for an unofficial boycott of festivities that began Wednesday to mark the start of the Tibetan new year as a form of protest against last year's crackdown. The Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, has said celebrations would be "inappropriate" under the circumstances.

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