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Farmer in stable condition after setting himself on fire

December 11, 2011

Updated: 2011-12-02 21:49 (Xinhua) LHASA- A Tibetan farmer who set himself on fire on Thursday was hospitalized and is currently in stable condition, local authorities said Friday. The 42-year-old farmer, Tenzin Phuntsog, from the village of Jintong in Qamdo county, poured gasoline over his body and tried to burn himself at about 3:15 pm, according to Tibet's officials. Tenzin Phuntsog's suicide attempt was stopped by two nearby telecommunications workers, who doused the fire with an extinguisher from their motor vehicle. He was then sent to a local hospital for treatment. An initial investigation showed that Tenzin Phuntsog was accused of illegally cutting down public trees at a village meeting Wednesday. Village officials decided to confiscate all the wood taken from the trees and stored at his home. Officials said Tenzin Phuntsog brandished a knife at the meeting and tried to attack a forest ranger, whom he suspected of tipping off the officials, but was stopped. His suicide attempt was believed to be connected with the incident, as he is considered eccentric, officials said. Tenzin Phuntsog is married and the father of two boys, ages 5 and 8.
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