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US airman, 25, dies after setting himself on fire during ‘free Palestine’ protest in Washington

Aaron Bushnell, a 25-year-old airman from San Antonio, Texas, succumbed to his injuries after igniting himself in flames outside the embassy on Sunday.
11:17 AM Feb 27, 2024 IST | GK Web Desk
us airman  25  dies after setting himself on fire during ‘free palestine’ protest in washington
Screenshot of a video in which Bushnell was seen setting himself on fire
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Srinagar, Feb 27: US Air Force member Aaron Bushnell lost his life after setting himself on fire outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC, reportedly in protest of the situation in Palestine.

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Aaron Bushnell, a 25-year-old airman from San Antonio, Texas, succumbed to his injuries after igniting himself in flames outside the embassy on Sunday.

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According to reports, Bushnell, who was an active-duty US Air Force member, was livestreaming his protest on Twitch and repeatedly shouted "free Palestine" before setting himself ablaze.

Law enforcement officials revealed that Bushnell doused himself in an accelerant and ignited the flames shortly before 1 pm on February 25. Despite efforts to extinguish the fire with a fire extinguisher, Bushnell sustained life-threatening injuries and was rushed to the hospital, where he later passed away.

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In a Facebook post shared just hours before the tragic incident, Bushnell expressed his stance on current global issues, including apartheid and genocide, and provided a link to his Twitch livestream. However, the post was subsequently removed for violating community guidelines.

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“I will no longer be complicit in genocide. I am about to engage in an extreme act of protest,” Bushnell said before being engulfed in flames. He repeatedly kept yelling, “Free Palestine,” as he burned while protesting.

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Just hours before the horrific protest, Bushnell, who served in the US Air Force for nearly four years, shared his last Facebook post.

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“Many of us like to ask ourselves, ‘What would I do if I was alive during slavery? Or the Jim Crow South? Or apartheid? What would I do if my country was committing genocide?’ The answer is, you’re doing it. Right now,” he wrote, along with the link for the Twitch livestream, per New York Post.

The incident occurred amidst heightened tensions in the region, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seeking approval for a military operation in the southern Gazan city of Rafah during ongoing ceasefire negotiations, reported AP.

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