New self-immolation in Bulgaria

A Bulgarian man set himself on fire in the southern town of Smolyan on Wednesday, police said, bringing to seven the number of self-immolations since February in the EU's poorest country.

Ventsislav Kozarev, 47, was hospitalised in a serious condition with third-degree burns over seventy percent of his body, Smolyan regional police chief Kiril Hadzhihristev told state BNR radio.

The official said "personal problems" were behind the desperate act as the man was divorcing his wife.

Bulgaria has seen a spate of such incidents in recent weeks amid a wave of angry and sometimes violent protests against poverty and corruption that in late February prompted prime minister Boyko Borisov to resign.

Five of the six men who set themselves on fire died. Only three of those who set themselves ablaze had voiced any political demands while the rest were reportedly driven by poverty and despair.

The small Balkan country will hold snap elections on May 12 with Borisov's GERB party tipped to win the vote but fall short of a governing majority.