Fifth Algerian sets fire to himself

A father-of-six became the fifth Algerian to turn himself into a human fireball this week, in a replica of the immolation protest that triggered the president’s ouster in neighbouring Tunisia, reports said on Tuesday.

The unemployed 36-year-old soaked himself in petrol before setting light to himself outside a departmental assembly in the El Oued region, after demanding a job and housing, the Arabic language El Khabar daily said.

The president of the assembly, which is close to the border with Tunisia, managed to put out the flames with a fire extinguisher, the paper added.

The victim suffered serious injuries and was in the intensive care unit of the local hospital, the French language El Watan reported.

Four other Algerians have carried out similar protests since January 12.

They were all following the example set by 26-year-old Mohamed Bouazizi who died after setting himself ablaze at a protest in Tunisia in mid-December. His death sparked an uprising and led to Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fleeing the country after 23 years in power.

Similar protests have been recorded in other parts of the Arab world, including in Egypt where one person died of his injuries on Tuesday.

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