Tunisian Man Dead After Self-immolating in Protest Against Police

Tunisian police - File Photo/AFP
Tunisian police - File Photo/AFP
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Tunisian Man Dead After Self-immolating in Protest Against Police

Tunisian police - File Photo/AFP
Tunisian police - File Photo/AFP

A young Tunisian man died after self-immolating in an act of protest against the police in the central region of Kairouan, his family said Friday.

Yassine Selmi, a 22-year-old construction worker, died in a hospital in Tunis, two days after setting himself on fire in front of a police station, his father Mansour Selmi told AFP.

He was attempting to "resolve a fight between two people and police officers near a police station" when the officers threatened to arrest him in Bou Hajla, a small town in Kairouan, said his father.

The young man later came back to the police station with a gasoline container and "set himself on fire in protest" over the police's threats, the father added.

He said he would seek justice for his son's death.

Tunisia has seen large numbers of people set themselves alight since the death of street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi, whose self-immolation in late 2010 sparked the Arab Spring and led to the ousting of former dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Many of the cases have been concentrated in non-coastal areas that are the hardest hit by Tunisia's economic crisis.

The North African country's debt currently hovers around 80 percent of its GDP, with a yearly inflation averaging up to 10 percent and an unemployment rate of 40 percent among its youth.

The latest incident came just days after another street vendor in the coastal city of Sfax set herself on fire after a dispute with the police.

Local media said the woman, who was originally from Kairouan, was taken to a hospital with severe burns.



US Military Pier Operations in Gaza Suspended after Piece Breaks Off

US Navy personnel construct a JLOTS, which stands for "Joint Logistics Over-the Shore" temporary pier which will provide a ship-to-shore distribution system to help deliver humanitarian aid into Gaza, in an undated handout picture in the Mediterranean Sea. (US Central Command/Handout via Reuters/File Photo)
US Navy personnel construct a JLOTS, which stands for "Joint Logistics Over-the Shore" temporary pier which will provide a ship-to-shore distribution system to help deliver humanitarian aid into Gaza, in an undated handout picture in the Mediterranean Sea. (US Central Command/Handout via Reuters/File Photo)
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US Military Pier Operations in Gaza Suspended after Piece Breaks Off

US Navy personnel construct a JLOTS, which stands for "Joint Logistics Over-the Shore" temporary pier which will provide a ship-to-shore distribution system to help deliver humanitarian aid into Gaza, in an undated handout picture in the Mediterranean Sea. (US Central Command/Handout via Reuters/File Photo)
US Navy personnel construct a JLOTS, which stands for "Joint Logistics Over-the Shore" temporary pier which will provide a ship-to-shore distribution system to help deliver humanitarian aid into Gaza, in an undated handout picture in the Mediterranean Sea. (US Central Command/Handout via Reuters/File Photo)

A part of the US military's pier off Gaza has broken off, rendering it temporarily inoperable, two US officials said, in the latest blow to efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to Palestinians.

The US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said bad weather was believed to be the reason that the part had broken off. They did not say how big the part was or speculate on how long it would take for the pier to resume operations.

The pier was announced by US President Joe Biden in March and involved the military assembling the floating structure off the coast. Estimated to cost $320 million for the first 90 days and involve about 1,000 US service members, it went into operation two weeks ago.

Since the pier began operations, the United Nations has transported 137 trucks of aid from the pier - the equivalent of 900 metric tons - said a UN World Food Program (WFP) spokesperson.