Second Cairo Protester Sets Himself on Fire
Self-immolation copycats inspired by Tunisian
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2011 9:14 AM CST
A monitor displays video of 48-year old Abdou Abdel-Monaam Hamadah, at a Cairo hospital, Jan. 17, 2011; Hamadah reportedly set himself on fire.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Setting yourself on fire has officially caught on in Northern Africa. A second Egyptian man set himself ablaze outside the prime minister’s office today in Cairo, a day after another Egyptian man, and several in Algeria and Mauritania, did the same thing. This time the burning man was a lawyer who was reportedly protesting police failure to find his missing teenage daughter, according to the AP. The fire was quickly extinguished.

The self-immolators appear to have been inspired by Mohamed Bouazizi, the unemployed Tunisian who set himself on fire when police took away his fruits and vegetables—leading to massive protests. “It is clear that Tunisia and its events had an impact on Egypt as well as Algeria,” said one Egyptian columnist, predicting it would be a “worrying element to the government.” But Egypt’s foreign minister professed to be unconcerned. “This is pure nonsense,” he said. The protesters “will not achieve their goals and will only harm themselves.”