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Mauritanian diplomat self-immolates

2012-07-26 15:24

Nouakchott - A Mauritanian diplomat died after setting himself alight on Wednesday night, an act apparently linked to the recent death of his younger brother, a security source told AFP on Thursday.

"The man sprayed his whole body with petrol before setting it alight, the fire completely consumed him in the street despite efforts of passers-by to save him," the security source said on condition of anonymity.

A member of the man's family quoted in local media said he had been posted in Kuwait as a diplomat, but returned recently after his younger brother died, which "affected him a great deal."

He had several times stated that he planned to set himself ablaze, but "nobody believed him due to his age [50] and his behaviour as a good Muslim", said the same source.

Suicide is forbidden by Islam, which considers it to be voluntary homicide punished by going to hell.

However, self-immolation is often a form of political protest. There was a wave of them during the Arab Spring, a popular revolt which led to the downfall of several regimes in the Middle East and North Africa.