Algerian protester sets himself on fire

A young man has set himself on fire in the northern Algerian province of Balida after the police refused to take up his complaint immediately.

The 25-year-old man from the town of Chrea who had lodged a complaint to police for a fighting case set himself alight in front of the police headquarters on Tuesday, AFP reported on Wednesday.

He was taken to hospital and his condition has been reported by medical sources as stable.

His hometown of Chrea is near the province of Tebessa which has been the scene of several similar public suicides, while a dozen Algerians have set themselves ablaze since January.

The moves have been inspired by recent events in Tunisia, where the self-immolation of a man sparked an uprising that brought about the overthrow of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Anti-government protests in Algeria have been fueled over rising food prices and high unemployment rates, especially among the youth.

On Sunday, dozens of jobless people protested in front of the country’s Ministry of Employment and Social Security in the capital, Algiers.

Algeria’s opposition has said that they would probably continue the demonstrations on February 12 despite government’s promises of more political freedoms.

Amid speculations that the fire of protests in neighboring countries could spread to Algeria, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has pledged to lift a nearly two-decade state of emergency.

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