Man sets self on fire in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City
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)
Published Thursday, December 19, 2013 7:20AM EST
VATICAN CITY -- A man has doused himself with gasoline and set himself on fire in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City.
The Vatican said Thursday the 51-year-old man was treated at a nearby hospital and transferred to a larger one, with serious burns to the upper part of his body.
A Vatican statement says a Jesuit priest initially tried to smother the flames with a jacket. He was later joined by two police officers who used a fire extinguisher to put out the blaze. The agents were treated at the hospital for smoke inhalation and injuries to their hands.
The Vatican says his motives aren't known. The man had a piece of paper with the phone number of his daughter.
Vatican police refused to let reporters into the square after the incident.