Saudi man dies after setting himself on fire

Saudi Arabia`s top Muslim authority has condemned suicide as a `great sin`.

Last Updated: Jan 22, 2011, 15:56 PM IST

Riyadh: A Saudi official says a local man has died after setting himself on fire in the southwestern town of Samta.

It is apparently the kingdom`s first case of self-immolation since an unemployed man set himself on fire in Tunisia last month and sparked riots which brought down the government.

Since that time there has been a rash of copycat immolations across the region, though with few fatalities.

Civil defence spokesman Captain Yahia al-Qahtani said in a statement published by Saudi newspapers on Saturday that the man, in his sixties, died in hospital on Friday and the case was being investigated.

No name or motive was given.

Saudi Grand Mufti Sheik Abdel Aziz Al Sheikh on Thursday condemned suicide even if it was driven by harsh living conditions.

Bureau Report