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article imageTunisian protests influence self-immolation across North Africa

By Andrew Moran     Jan 17, 2011 in World
Cairo - An Egyptian man set himself alight over the weekend near his country's parliament. Hours later, a man in Mauritania set himself ablaze as well. These incidents echo the recent attempt of a man in Tunisia over the low standards of living.
During the protests in Tunisia that have caused significant political upheaval throughout the country, 26-year-old unemployed college graduate, Mohamed Bouazizi, set himself on fire in protest of the country’s high unemployment rate and high cost of food. He later died.
This has inspired some throughout the northern region of Africa to do the same thing.
According to Agence-France Presse, a man conducted an exact replication of the self-immolation outside of the Egyptian parliament in Cairo. Abdo Abdelmoneim, a restaurant owner from Qantara, set fire to his body and was immediately taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Parliamentary sources say the man stood just outside the People’s Assembly, poured fuel over his body and a lit a match: “A policeman who was close by managed to extinguish the fire and the man was quickly taken away by ambulance,” one source said.
Reuters reports that the severities of the man’s injuries are unclear but most of the wounds were to the man’s face and hands.
Over in the northwestern part of Africa, 43-year-old Yacoub Ould Dahoud also set himself on fire in front of a government building in the capital Nouakchott in Mauritania, according to the Associated Press.
Foreign Ministry official Abdou Ould Sidi said that local police authorities immediately rushed the man to a nearby hospital. Local reporters say that Dahoud was upset with the government.
The Tunisian protests have captured international headlines. Even though Tunisian officials have announced a unity government, there are reports that Tunisia security forces are using teargas, water cannons and gunshots to “disperse” protestors.
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