Second Egyptian sets himself alight after Tunisia
CAIRO (Reuters) - A second Egyptian set himself on fire near parliament on Tuesday, security sources said, the latest case echoing an act of self-immolation in Tunisia that spurred on protests and helped bring down the president.
The 40-year-old lawyer, Mohamed Farouk Hassan, shouted slogans against rising prices before setting himself alight, one source said. The severity of his injuries was not clear.
On Monday, an Egyptian, aged about 50, poured gasoline over himself and lit it after protesting against poor living conditions. His injuries were described as light.
A hospital source said the hospital had been informed of the imminent arrival of a victim of burns, but did not have details.
Similar cases were reported in Algeria and Mauritania.
Like Tunisians, whose public protests led to the ousting of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, Arabs in many states are frustrated by soaring prices, poverty, high unemployment and authoritarian systems of rule that give them no voice.
Political activists throughout the Arab world say they have been inspired by the example of Tunisia, the first country in decades where an Arab leader was toppled by public protests.
The protests in Tunisia erupted after the suicide of 26-year-old vegetable trader Mohamed Bouazizi, who set himself on fire on December 17 because police seized his grocery cart.
Bouazizi died weeks later of his burns, becoming a martyr to crowds of students and the unemployed protesting against poor living conditions. Ben Ali had visited him in hospital, a gesture that failed to win him public sympathy.
There have been other self-immolation cases across the region, apparently inspired by Tunisia's Bouazizi.
In Algeria, where riots over the last few weeks have broken out in parallel to the unrest in Tunisia, newspapers gave their first reports on Sunday and Monday of at least four men who set themselves on fire in provincial towns in the last five days.
In Mauritania's capital Nouakchott, police sources said Yacoub Ould Dahoud, 40, a company director and member of a wealthy family, staged a self-immolation protest on Monday against alleged government mistreatment of his tribe.
In Egypt, there have been two other cases reported of self-immolations or attempts in the past two days. One was stopped before the man set himself alight and the second seemed to have no political motive.
A newspaper said a mechanic in Ismailiya, east of Cairo, made an attempt but was stopped setting himself alight. Security sources said a psychologically disturbed 25-year-old set himself alight in Alexandria after an argument with his parents.
(Reporting by Dina Zayed and Mohamed Abdellah; Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Maria Golovnina)
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