More People Than Usual Are Burning Themselves Alive

By
Bouazizi in the hospital before he died. Photo: via CNN

The popular uprising that brought down a dictator in Tunisia last week began when a 26-year-old named Mohamed Bouazizi lit himself on fire after police confiscated his fruit cart. Now copycats across North Africa are following his lead. Since Sunday, three people in Algeria, a baker in Egypt, and one man in Mauritania have set themselves ablaze. Of course, self-immolation has been practiced as a form of political protest for decades — here is a long, disturbing list of past incidents, courtesy of Wikipedia. [CNN]