Man sets himself on fire amid Czech commemoration event

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PRAGUE (AP) — Czech officials say a man has been seriously injured after he set himself on fire in downtown Prague amid commemorative events to remember a student who burned himself to death 50 years ago to inspire resistance against the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia.

Police say the man born in 1964 poured an unspecified flammable liquid on himself at Wenceslas Square and set himself on fire Friday. They say that people who were nearby extinguished the fire.

Prague’s rescue service says the man suffered burns on about 30 percent of his body and was transported to a hospital in an artificially-induced coma.

Jan Palach set himself on fire on Jan. 16, 1969 after the Warsaw Pact countries crushed liberal reforms known as the Prague Spring. He died three days later.

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