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An unidentified man lit himself on fire this afternoon, local time in Oslo, Norway, and tried to force himself access to the court house where the trial against mass murderer Anders Behring Brievik is currently being held.
Norwegian police confirmed the episode to VG Nett, a Norwegian website, saying that the man attempted to cross the police barriers in front of the court house around 2 p.m. local time, when he suddenly caught fire. As he charged the security fence, screaming and burning, the police overpowered him and pulled off the burning sweater, putting out the fire with bottles of water while the injured man was subdued. An ambulance arrived shortly after and drove the man to the hospital where he is held in intensive care with serious burns around his abdomen and chest.
“He lit himself on fire at the entrance and the fire was put out by security guards and police at the scene” explained Kjell Jan Kverme of the local police to Aftenposten.no. In a press release, Kverme continued: “We have no reason to believe there were more people involved. We believe it was a flammable liquid which the person poured over himself before lighting up.”
The motives behind the incident are unclear and so is whether the seemingly desperate act is related to the trial against Breivik. Anders Breivik is facing procecution under huge security measures these days – he is being charged for killing 77 people and injuring 151 in Oslo and Utoya island on July 22, 2011. The criminal trial began a month ago and today, witnesses from the massacre on Utoya were scheduled to appear at the Oslo court house.
Though the burning man’s identity is still unknown, the police believes that he is a Norwegian citizen. VG Nett has the dramatic video on their website.