Moroccan dies after fiery protest: Rights official

Rabat, Feb 12 (AFP) A 26-year-old man died in centralMorocco after setting himself on fire in despair at hissituation since being dismissed from the army, a local rightsofficial said today.

"He poured five litres of petrol over himself and sethimself alight in the weekly market at Benguerir" on Thursday,Mohammed Hanofi of the Moroccan Human Rights Association toldAFP. "He died in hospital."

It was the first reported death in the country fromself-immolation, which has also occurred in neighbouringAlgeria and triggered the revolution in Tunisia that overthrowthe government of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

The daily Akhbar al-Yaoum named the man as MouradRaho, 26, while a local website,, said he wasdepressed because he had little income since being sacked fromthe army in July 2010.

There was no official information from the authoritieson the incident, the fifth in Morocco in a month, albeit thefirst fatality. According to the authorities, one victim hadpsychological problems while another was in a dispute over alegacy.

Demands for political reforms are mounting in Morocco,which shares the same ingredients -- unemployment, a largeyoung population and stark economic inequalities -- that havetriggered unrest elsewhere in the Arab world.

In Algeria a 36-year-old unemployed man and father ofsix died on Friday after setting himself on fire on January 17in regional council offices in the east of the country.

His death brought to four the number of Algerians whohave died from self-immolation since January while more than adozen Algerians have set themselves alight.

Last December''s self-immolation by a desperate youngstreet vendor in Tunisia triggered the nation-wide revolt andinspired a similar uprising in Egypt which on Friday ended inthe ousting of president Hosni Mubarak. (AFP)

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