Egyptian sets himself on fire before parliament

An Egyptian citizen set himself on fire Monday at 9 AM in front of the People’s Assembly while shouting chants against the Egyptian security service, an eyewitness told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

While standing on the pavement opposite to parliament’s main gate, the man doused himself with gasoline and shouted “Security service, my rights are lost in this country,” then set himself on fire, the witness said in a phone call.

“He was all caught up with fire,” said the eyewitness. “Guards used fire extinguishers to put the fire out. And then he was put in an ambulance.”

“Security staff were keen to clear up the situation in the street, but a big wet spot remained outside the parliament due to the fire extinguishers,” the witness added.

Preliminary investigations reveal that the citizen, Abdou Abdel Moneim Gaafar, 49, owner of a restaurant in Qantara, Ismailia Governorate, is currently being treated in Mounira hospital. It is not yet clear whether his condition is serious or not.

The incident follows the self-immolation of a Tunisian youth in Tunisia on 17 December, which led to events that forced the resignation of President Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali, who fled with his family on Friday to Saudi Arabia after 23 years in office.

Several Algerians have also set themselves on fire to protest unemployment and the unavailability of suitable housing. One died late on Saturday in Tebsa.

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