Egyptian man sets himself ablaze in downtown Cairo

January 17, 2011 14:32

CAIRO — An Egyptian man set himself on fire Monday outside the country's parliament, security officials said, in an apparent protest emulating the self-immolation of an unemployed Tunisian man last month that helped trigger a popular uprising.

Egyptian security officials said policemen guarding the parliament building in central Cairo used fire extinguishers to quickly put out the blaze engulfing the man, who was later taken to the hospital with burns mostly to his face.

The officials identified the man as Abdou Abdel-Hamid, a small restaurant owner from Qantara, an area close to the Suez Canal city of Ismailia east of Cairo. They said Abdel-Hamid was protesting a government policy preventing restaurant owners from buying cheap subsidized bread to resell to their patrons.

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