Man Sets Self Ablaze at Vatican

Now in hospital with 'serious burns,' condition 'grave'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2013 9:13 AM CST
An Italian policeman walks on the white powder of a fire-extinguisher used to put out the blaze of a man who set himself on fire in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Thursday Dec. 19, 2013.   (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
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(Newser) – A man is in "grave" condition after he doused himself in gasoline and set himself on fire in St. Peter's Square today around 8:30am local time, ANSA reports. The 51-year-old man was treated at a nearby hospital, then transferred to a larger one, with serious burns to his upper body, the AP notes. A Jesuit priest was first on the scene and threw his jacket on the man before two police officers arrived to extinguish the flames; both were treated for smoke inhalation and injuries to their hands. The motive for the man's act isn't clear, though a piece of paper with his daughter's phone number on it was found nearby. (Read more St. Peter's Square stories.)

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