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Tunisia Self-Immolation: Desperate Vendor Sets Himself On Fire In Tunis

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Tunisian protesters hold placards shouting slogans during a demonstration on February 23, 2013 on the Habib Bourguiba Avenue in Tunis. (FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images) | Getty Images

TUNIS, Tunisia — A street vendor has set himself on fire in Tunisia's capital, reviving memories of the self-immolation that helped spark the Arab Spring uprisings. A witness says the man said he was jobless and desperate.

Burns center director Imed Touibi said the 27-year-old cigarette vendor, from a poor town in northwestern Tunisia, set himself ablaze Tuesday and is in a coma with 90 percent burns.

A woman who witnessed the incident told The Associated Press that the vendor complained of the challenges for young job-seekers as he doused himself with gasoline. She spoke on condition of anonymity, saying she was shaken by the scene.

The 2010 self-immolation of another Tunisian vendor prompted protests that led to the ouster of the longtime dictator, and provoked similar uprisings around the Arab world.

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