Monday, 17 January 2011

Man sets himself on fire outside Egyptian parliament

A man set himself alight outside the Egyptian parliament, in Cairo, in a copycat move mirroring the self-immolation of a 26-year-old Tunisian graduate Mohammed Bouazizi. Witnesses said that the man in question poured fuel over himself before setting himself on fire.

An unnamed government official told AFP that the man "stood outside the People's Assembly, poured fuel on himself and set himself on fire". He added that: "A policeman who was close by managed to extinguish the fire and the man was quickly taken away by ambulance."

The Egyptian man has sustained burns to his face and hands, but further details about his condition are unknown. It is believed that he did so as a stand against poor living conditions affecting most of the country's population. Bouazizi, who died in early January, set himself alight after Tunisian police took away his livelihood by prevented him from selling vegetables without a permit.

There have been no large scale protests in Egypt, but the people have voiced the same grievances in Cairo as they have done in Tunisia. The ongoing and increasingly violent protests across Tunisia, over unemployment, corruption and high food prices, have resulted in the resignation of Tunisia's President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

Sources: AFP, BBC News, Guardian, Reuters

For more news and expert analysis about Egypt, please see Egypt Politics & Security.

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