Asylum seeker burns Australian bank

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Bank on Fire
Bank on Fire

An asylum seeker from Myanmar has been identified as the man who set himself alight in a bank in the Australian city of Melbourne on Friday.

The man, known to his friends as Noor, set himself alight using gasoline at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia branch in the Melbourne suburb of Springvale.

The 21-year-old is under guard in hospital after the incident that injured 26 others.

Five bystanders suffered burns and 21 more smoke inhalation.

The suspect had arrived in Australia as an unaccompanied minor and was awaiting receipt of a refugee visa.

He arrived by boat three years ago and had been released from detention pending a decision on his case.

The suspect had arrived in Australia as an unaccompanied minor and was awaiting receipt of a refugee visa.

It was reported that his benefits had not been in his account when he tried to withdraw them on Wednesday.

Video taken by eyewitnesses of the immediate aftermath showed flames inside the bank branch and thick black smoke, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

The man was reportedly of mixed Muslim parentage. Although he is partly Rohingya – the Muslim community that lives in Rakhine state near the Bangladesh border and which has been denied citizenship and freedom of movement by the government – he reportedly lived in southern Myanmar.

He had been detained in a camp on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean before being moved to Melbourne.

The president of the Australian Burmese Rohingya Organisation, Habib Habib, told the Melbourne Age: “He has been suffering and his friends say his welfare payment was not received and he couldn’t pay his rent.”

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