Lobsang Lozin, a teenage Tibetan Buddhist monk, died after setting himself on fire in China's Sichuan province, one of many self-immolation protests against Chinese rule.
The 18-year-old monk set himself alight in Bharkham county as he marched toward a government office, reported Agence France-Presse. Lozin died on the spot.
The teenager became the 44th Tibetan to self-immolate since 2009, according to CNN. Self-immolation has become a common form of protest for Tibetans who want autonomy from China and what they consider repressive government policies.
Rights group Free Tibet said local Tibetans created a human shield around the Kirti Monastery, where Lozin took his own life, to prevent Chinese armed police from entering the site, reported UPI.
"Chinese forces began to make their way to the monastery but local Tibetans gathered to prevent them from proceeding," Free Tibet said.
According to AFP, two other monks from the same monastery as Lozin also set themselves on fire.
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UPI reported that Tibetan activists said Chinese security officials have used force to quiet protesting monks, whereas Beijing claims it's the Tibetan activists who are the reason for growing tensions.
The Dalai Lama has remained silent on the issue of self-immolation, according to CNN, refusing to answer questions earlier this year on the subject of whether monks should stop setting themselves on fire in protest.