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Iranian Man Sets Himself On Fire After Germany Rejects Asylum Request

Paramedics lift a man into a rescue helicopter in Goeppingen, Germany, 29 May 2018.

An Iranian man has set himself on fire at a German regional government office where he had sought help after receiving notice that his asylum request had been rejected.

Authorities say the 35-year-old, who was not named by police, approached two female officials at the Goeppingen district office near Stuttgart on May 29 and showed them his asylum rejection letter.

"The officials agreed to help him. But the man became aggressive," police said in a statement. "He took a bottle from his backpack and doused himself” with a flammable liquid, they said.

As the officials rushed to seek help, the man "went up in flames," police added.

Another official quickly put out the flames with a cloth, but the Iranian man suffered severe burns and was taken to hospital by rescue helicopter.

Since 2015, Germany has taken in some 1.2 million refugees who are seeking asylum.

More than half have been from war-torn Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Amid growing opposition from German voters over the influx, the German government has been trying to bring down the number of new arrivals.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa