Desperate Tunisian vendor sets self ablaze
TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — A street vendor has set himself on fire in Tunisia’s capital, reviving memories of the self-immolation that helped spark the Arab Spring uprisings. A witness says the man said he was jobless and desperate.
Burns center director Imed Touibi said the 27-year-old cigarette vendor, from a poor town in northwestern Tunisia, set himself ablaze Tuesday and is in a coma with 90 percent burns.
A woman who witnessed the incident told The Associated Press that the vendor complained of the challenges for young job-seekers as he doused himself with gasoline. She spoke on condition of anonymity, saying she was shaken by the scene.
The 2010 self-immolation of another Tunisian vendor prompted protests that led to the ouster of the longtime dictator, and provoked similar uprisings around the Arab world.