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Tunisian protest suicide sparks copycat protests in Algeria, Egypt

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2011-01-17

A Tunisian man who burned himself to death in December to protest against high unemployment, setting off weeks of rioting that led to the ouster of the country's president, has inspired similar suicide protests in Algeria and Egypt.


A jobless Algerian man who set himself on fire in a north-eastern town bordering strife-torn Tunisia to protest the mayor's refusal to meet him over jobs and housing died of his injuries on Sunday, his family said.
Mohcin Bouterfif, 37, set himself alight Saturday in front of the town hall in Boukhadra, east of Tebessa, and died Sunday afternoon at the hospital, a member of his family told AFP.
It was the one of four attempted public suicides in Algeria this past week.
Egyptians security officials on Monday said a man set himself on fire in an apparent protest outside the parliament building in central Cairo. Policemen guarding the parliament building used fire extinguishers to put out the fire engulfing the man, who was later taken to the hospital.
No information was immediately available on the identity of the man, his motive or current condition.
The incidents appear to be an attempt to copy the self-immolation and death last month of an unemployed 26-year-old Tunisian man that triggered the weeks of protest that led to the ouster of Tunisia's longtime authoritarian president, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.
Tunisia has also seen a spate of similar attempted suicides since December 17, when university graduate Mohamed Bouaziz torched himself after police confiscated the fruit and vegetables he was selling for not having the correct permit.
Bouaziz’s death sparked a popular revolt against widespread joblessness and rising food prices that forced Ben Ali, in power for the past 23 years, to flee the country and seek refuge in Saudi Arabia.


Date created : 2011-01-17


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