CAIRO, Egypt, (AFP) — An Egyptian man was reported to be in stable condition after he set fire to himself on Saturday outside the presidential palace in Cairo to protest against losing his job, police officials said.
The employee at a state-owned electricity company had won a court ruling to get back his job, but the company ignored the verdict. He doused himself in petrol and set himself alight as a last resort, the officials said.
The protest did not appear related to a sit-in outside the palace in northern Cairo by activists who oppose President Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first Islamist and civilian president.
In a statement, the presidency expressed its “regret” at the man’s self-immolation, the official MENA news agency reported.
Such acts had been rare in Egypt before several men set fire to themselves in January and February 2011 in protest against then president Hosni Mubarak, after a Tunisian street vendor’s self-immolation prompted a revolution in Tunisia.
Mubarak was overthrown in a popular uprising that ushered in military rule and Morsi’s election last June.