TIRANA - An Albanian former political prisoner set himself on fire on Wednesday, the second dissident to do so in two days after the government ruled out talks on their demands for compensation for suffering under communism.

Television footage showed Lirak Bejko, 47, pour petrol on himself and set his trousers on fire, before friends and policemen rushed to put out the flames with blankets.

Doctors said he was in critical condition, with third-degree burns to his limbs and face. Gjergj Ndreca, who set himself on fire on Monday, is also recovering in hospital.

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