BEIJING -- A Tibetan man set himself on fire Friday morning in northwest China's Qinghai province, advocacy groups for Tibetan rights reported.

It adds to a string of about three dozen self-immolations over the past year in ethnic Tibetan areas of China in protest of what activists say is Beijing's heavy-handed rule in the region.

The rights groups identified the man as Tamding Thar, who was about 60 years old.

China's official Xinhua News Agency confirmed a self-immolation happened Friday morning in Jianzha county in the province's Huangnan Tibetan autonomous prefecture, or Chentsa county in Malho prefecture in Tibetan language.

Xinhua says the identity of the person and cause of the death are under investigation.

Beijing blames the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader the Dalai Lama for inciting the self-immolations. The Dalai Lama denies that and says the acts are the result of China's repressive policies in Tibet.


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  • Portraits of Jamyang Palden (L), in his thirties from Rebkong and Lobsang Tsultrim, 20, from Ngaba, both from Tibet's Amdo region and who died by setting themselves on fire in protest, are seen in front of lit butter lamps during a vigil for Tibetans who have immolated themselves in protest against Chinese rule in Tibet, in McLeod Ganj on March 17, 2012. (STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • This image from video, released Friday, March 23, 2012 by London-based activist group Free Tibet, reportedly shows the self-immolation of Sonam Thargyal, a 44-year-old farmer who doused himself with kerosene before setting himself on fire earlier this month in Tongren, a monastery town in Qinghai province, western China. (AP Photo / Free Tibet)

  • Tibetan exiles place pictures of Tibetan exile Jamphel Yeshi - who died after setting fire to himself in protest against China's occupation of Tibet - on the side of an ambulance which will transport his remains to Dharamsala, in New Delhi on March 29, 2012. (TENGKU BAHAR/AFP/Getty Images)

  • The Dalai Lama prays during a day-long fast and prayer service in honour of Tibetans who set themselves on fire to protest the Chinese rule in Tibet, at Tsuglagkhang Temple in McLeod Ganj on October 19, 2011. (LOBSANG WANGYAL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • In this file image taken from Nov. 11, 2011 video footage released by Students For A Free Tibet via AP video purports to show Buddhist nun Palden Choetso engulfed in flames in her self-immolation protest against Chinese rule on a street in Tawu, Tibetan Ganzi prefecture, in China's Sichuan Province. (AP Photo/Students For A Free Tibet via AP video, File)

  • Traditional Tibetan butter lamps burn in an altar as exile Tibetans pray for Tibetans who have died in recent spate of immolations in Tibet and India, in Dharmsala, India, Saturday, April 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia)

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