A man set himself on fire Tuesday in central Tunis, hours before the country’s lawmakers were to vote on a new government tasked with pulling Tunisia out of a deep political crisis.
“This is a young man who sells cigarettes because of unemployment,” shouted the man before immolating himself on Habib Bourguiba avenue in front of the municipal building, according to a witness.
“Allahu Akbar! (God is greatest!)” said the badly burned man who was still conscious as he was rushed to the Ben Arous hospital in a Tunis suburb by emergency services, the witness said.
Passers-by rushed to douse the flames but not before the man, believed to be in his 20s, had suffered serious burn wounds.
A hospital source said he was “in a critical condition and only his feet were not burned.”
“We will give him an anaesthetic because he is feeling a lot of pain,” the source said, adding that the unidentified man had said to a doctor: “I am sick and nobody wants to take care of me.”