Iraqi dies after setting himself on fire in unemployment protest

Mosul, Iraq – An Iraqi man has died after setting himself ablaze in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul to protest against unemployment, police sources said Sunday.

The 31-year-old man set himself on fire when he could not find a job, the sources told the German Press Agency dpa. He was married and had four children.

The region has seen a series of self-immolation suicide attempts, starting on December 17 when Tunisian Mohamed Bouazizi set himself ablaze in a protest against his country’s high unemployment rate.

Thousands of Iraqis have been protesting this month, demanding better living standards, improved services and less corruption.

The growing unrest prompted Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to cut his salary in half to help ‘reduce the gap in the living standards for the different classes.’

More protests are nevertheless planned, including one that is described as a ‘Revolution of Iraqi Rage,’ to be held on February 25 near the Green Zone.

Some activists have called for the overthrow of the government, which was formed in December after nine months of political stalemate.

The political unrest in Egypt, Yemen and Algeria has seen anti- government protesters calling for more employment opportunities, reform and democracy. The demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt ultimately toppled the regimes in both countries.

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