Tunisian customs officer in self-immolation

Updated 29 October 2015

Tunisian customs officer in self-immolation

TUNIS: A Tunisian customs officer has died after setting himself on fire, officials said Thursday, in an apparent protest mirroring that of a graduate which sparked a popular revolt.
The 54-year-old died in Monastir on Wednesday night after suffering “third-degree burns all over his body,” said Radhouane Harbi, head of the Fattouma Bourguiba hospital’s emergencies unit.
Mongi Belkadhi, spokesman for civil protection, told AFP the man had on Tuesday sprayed his uniform with petrol and set himself alight outside a hotel in the touristic area of the eastern coastal city.
A customs official told private television channel Nessma that the man had been on sick leave and had said he wanted to return to work.
The government department that employed the man was not immediately available for comment.
In December 2010, young university graduate Mohamed Bouazizi who eked out a living as a fruit seller set himself alight to protest police harassment and unemployment in the central town of Sidi Bouzid.
His act, from which he died weeks later, ignited the 2011 Arab Spring uprising that later spread to several Arab capitals and brought down autocratic regimes.

Qatar denies its military aircraft intercepted UAE civilian airliner

Updated 21 min 47 sec ago

Qatar denies its military aircraft intercepted UAE civilian airliner

  • The UAE said Sunday that a Qatari fighter jet had flown "dangerously close to one of its civilian aircraft
  • Qatar claims a UAE military aircraft had entered its airspace

DUBAI: Qatar denied on Monday that its military planes intercepted a civilian aircraft from the UAE the day before, state news agency QNA reported.

The QNA statement claimed that a UAE military plane had violated its air space at the time.

Qatar’s claims come a day after the UAE had said a civilian aircraft carrying 86 passengers from Saudi Arabia to Abu Dhabi had been intercepted in Bahraini airspace.

UAE state news agency WAM said Sunday that the Qatari fighter jet had come within 700 feet of the Emirati airliner, forcing the pilot to take evasive maneuvers to avoid a collision.

But the Qatari civil aviation authority has been quoted by the Qatar state news agency as claiming that the military planes were on a routine flight.

They claim a UAE military aircraft entered Qatari airspace “without permission” in the same area as the civilian aircraft.

Sunday’s intercept is the latest in a series of mid-air incidents since the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt imposed sanctions on Qatar amid claims it had supported Iran, as well as other Islamic militants.

Doha denies the claims.

In January Qatari fighter jets intercepted two Emirates aircraft. The UAE has since lodged a complaint with the UN about the incident.

(With AFP)