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Rediff.com  » News » 'Free Palestine': US airman sets himself afire outside Israeli embassy

'Free Palestine': US airman sets himself afire outside Israeli embassy

Source: ANI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
February 26, 2024 12:45 IST
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An active-duty member of the United States Air Force attempted self-immolation and yelled, 'Free Palestine', outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC, on February 25, according to the Air Force and local officials, reported by CNN.

IMAGE: Protests outside the UN headquarters in New York City, on January 31, 2024. The image is used only for representation. Photograph: Mike Segar/Reuters

'The Metropolitan Police Department responded to the 3500 block of International Drive, NW, at approximately 1 pm, to assist the United States Secret Service after an individual set himself on fire in front of an embassy in the block,' the Washington Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement to CNN.

 

The man, identified as Aaron Bushnell. In a video of the incident analysed by CNN the man is seen saying, 'I will no longer be complicit in genocide', before going on to say that what he's about to do is 'minimal compared with the suffering of Palestinians'.

After placing the recording device on the ground, he covers himself with an unidentified liquid, lights it, and yells, 'Free Palestine'. Eventually, he collapses as policemen hurry to use fire extinguishers to put out the flames.

"I can confirm an active-duty airman was involved in today's incident," Rose Riley, a spokesperson for the US Air Force, told CNN.

As per MPD, the man is still in serious condition after being taken to a nearby hospital by DC Fire and EMS.

"No embassy staff were injured and are safe," as per an Israeli Embassy spokesman.

By the time firefighters were dispatched to the scene, the fire had already been extinguished by the US Secret Service, according to Vito Maggiolo, a public information officer from DC Fire.

Vito Maggiolo, a public relations officer with DC Fire, stated, that by the time firefighters were dispatched to the scene, the fire had already been extinguished by the US Secret Service

MPD said it is working with the Secret Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to investigate the incident.

In December, a person set themselves on fire outside the Israeli Consulate in Atlanta in what police said was 'likely an extreme act of political protest'.

A Palestinian flag that was part of the protest was recovered at the scene, and gasoline was used as an accelerant, police and fire officials told reporters at a news conference.

Following the terror assaults in Israel on October 7 that claimed 1,200 lives, Israeli authorities have declared war on Hamas in Gaza.

Nearly 30,000 people have died in Gaza as a result of the reaction, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

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Source: ANI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
 
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