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Man sets himself on fire outside New Zealand parliament

Man sets himself on fire outside New Zealand parliament

A man has reportedly set himself on fire on the grounds of New Zealand’s parliament in Wellington, two days ahead of national elections, police said on Thursday.

A placard could be seen on the steps leading up to Parliament House afterwards, suggesting the man was protesting. But police could not confirm this.

The sign appeared to read: “Issue is not to take children’s mother away. Enough murdering father by …”

Police placed a cordon around a burnt patch of grass, about a metre in diameter, on the lawn outside Parliament House.

A foreign reporter, who did not want to be named, witnessed the incident and said it was unlike anything they had seen before.

“I turned around and there was a man in flames on the lawn … we didn’t know it was a person to begin with,” she said.

“We were yelling for help. We didn’t know what the emergency number was … a man came over with his jacket and tried to beat the flame out.”

“Ambulance is with the man currently, who’s reportedly in a critical condition,” New Zealand police said in a statement, adding they have no immediate information on the man’s identity.

The hospital confirmed that the man was being treated and remained in critical condition.


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