Italian man sets himself alight on St Peter's Square

VATICAN CITY (AFP) - A 51-year-old Italian man set himself on fire on St Peter's Square on Thursday and has been rushed to hospital, a Vatican spokesman said citing the police.

Italian news agency ANSA said the man, probably already covered in fuel, could be seen in closed-circuit footage setting fire to his clothes with a lighter.

The Vatican spokesman said he had no further details on the man or the reasons for his gesture.

He has been taken to the Vatican's Santo Spirito clinic.