Tunisian man sets himself on fire due to unemployment

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.”



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