A Tibetan student set fire to himself in the western province of Sichuan to protest China's policies in Tibet and demand the return of the Dalai Lama from exile.

The action of 20-year-old Wangyal brings to 19 the number of Tibetans who have tried to immolate themselves in the last 20 days.

A group of Chinese soldiers arrived at the scene shortly after the young man set fire to himself and they took him away after suffocating the flames that covered his body. The student's condition is not known, the exile news agency Phayul said.

The protest came three days after a Tibetan peasant died after setting fire to himself.

The wave of immolations began at about the same time as the 28th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, which concluded 10 days ago with the naming of the new leadership team.

The immolations have also motivated thousands of Tibetans to take to the streets and demonstrate.

Exile organizations such as Free Tibet warn about the "tense situation" in the region, where they say that "a large number of Chinese armed forces" have been deployed.

The organizations are asking Beijing to pay attention to Tibetans' demands, while the communist regime is accusing the Dalai Lama of encouraging the immolations.

China has considered Tibet part of its territory for centuries, though exiled Tibetans say the "Roof of the World" was effectively independent until it was occupied by the Red Army in the early 1950s. EFE