Tunis – A jobless man set himself on fire on Thursday in front of the main government office of the poor Tunisian province of Gafsa as three ministers visited the unemployment-hit area, local sources said.
The man was taken to hospital with severe burns and in a critical state, unionist Amar Amroussia said.
“The situation is very worrying and risks degenerating,” he said, adding that there had already been clashes between locals and security officials.
The man, a 48-year-old father of three, was part of a group of unemployed men staging a sit-in in front of the main government office to demand jobs.
“He wanted to meet the team of ministers visiting Gafsa but did not get an answer,” a local source said.
A witness added: “He then poured petrol on himself and set himself alight, without saying anything.”
The three visiting ministers hold the social affairs, industry and employment portfolios.