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Person set themselves on fire outside Israeli consulate in Atlanta in ‘extreme act of political protest,’ police say

By Rafael Romo, Jaide Timm-Garcia and Shawn Nottingham, CNN

(CNN) — A person was in critical condition Friday after setting themselves on fire outside the Israeli consulate in what Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said was “likely an extreme act of political protest.”

The incident happened around noon outside the Consulate General of Israel, according to police. Schierbaum said investigators didn’t believe the incident had “any nexus to terrorism.”

A security guard at the midtown Atlanta building saw the protester outside around noon and tried to stop them from setting themselves on fire, police and fire officials told reporters at a news conference. The security guard sustained burns on their leg and wrist.

A Palestinian flag that was part of the protest was recovered at the scene, and gasoline was used as an accelerant, the officials said.

The chief said staff inside the Israeli consulate were safe and did not appear to be in danger during the incident. The incident was contained to outside the building, and the chief said he was not aware of any effort to enter the building.

“The community is safe,” Schierbaum said. “This department is aware of the tensions that are present right now in the Jewish community and in the Muslim community… And we will continue to remain vigilant to ensure that everyone remains safe.”

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