Unemployed Algerian sets himself ablaze

January 16, 2011

Mohsen recovering

A 27-year-old Algerian set himself ablaze on Saturday after his town mayor dared him to follow the example of a Tunisian man who committed suicide in December to protest his ill treatment.

Mohsen Boutarfif, an unemployed mason and father of two children, was waiting with 22 young people in front of the municipality of Boukhadhra, a mining town in Tebessa province, 20 kilometers from the border with Tunisia, to press for jobs, El Khabar daily reported on Sunday.

However, when the mayor arrived, he told them he could not find a job for anyone in the mine.

Mohsen reacted by saying that he would set himself on fire if he was not recruited, and the mayor dared him, sarcastically, to “do it if he had the courage of the Mohammad Bouazizi”, the Tunisian man who set himself ablaze in front of the local municipality to protest the confiscation of his cart and the aggressive attitude of an officer.

The daily, quoting witnesses, reported that Mohsen took out a bottle of petrol he had with him and set himself ablaze before some of the people present extinguished the fire. Doctors at the Ibn Rush Hospital said that he had third-degree burns.

The governor removed the mayor immediately and is likely to dissolve the municipal council in a bid to calm the situation, the paper said.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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