Chinese state media confirmed that a Tibetan Buddhist monk had set himself on fire in southwest China last week, saying the man was now hospitalized in serious condition.
The report Thursday by the official Xinhua News Agency was the first confirmation of the identity and background of the 24-year-old man, identified as Tashi or Tapey, who Xinhua said had been studying at Kirti monastery in Sichuan province's Aba county.
Tibetan advocacy groups had said earlier that the young monk had set himself ablaze in an apparent protest of government restrictions on religion.
Xinhua quoted doctors at Aba's People's Hospital as saying the monk, who was brought in last Friday, is now "out of danger" and has been transferred to a hospital in the Sichuan capital of Chengdu.
"He was in a very dangerous condition when he was first sent here. More than half of his body had been burnt, and he was in very serious shock," Dr. Shen Yongcai told Xinhua. "He is out of danger now."
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