- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 19, 2013

A man is seriously injured after he doused himself with gasoline and set himself on fire in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City Thursday.

The 51-year-old man was treated at a nearby hospital with serious burns to the upper part of his body, the Associated Press reported.


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The Vatican told journalists the motives for the man’s actions are unknown.

Officials said a Jesuit priest had tried to smother the flames with his jacket. He was then joined by two police officers who managed to put out the blaze with a fire extinguisher, BBC News reported.


The officers were treated for “respiratory problems and burns to the hands”, the Vatican said.

The man had a piece of paper with the phone number of his daughter.

This is not the first case of self-immolation inside Vatican City, BBC said. In 1998, Alfredo Ormando died after setting himself on fire to protest the church’s condemnation of homosexuality.