Is Cairo the next Tunis?

CAIRO, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- The rising occurrence of protest suicides across North Africa is the start of a popular uprising, Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei said.

ElBaradei called on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to enact sweeping reforms in the country or face a growing danger of unrest like the events unfolding in Tunisia, the Muslim Brotherhood noted on its official Ikhwanweb site.


A man set himself on fire and died in Tunisia to protest rising unemployment and soaring food prices. Anti-government protesters later took to the streets in a revolution that toppled the government.

A 25-year old Egyptian man succumbed to his injuries Tuesday after he set himself on fire on the roof of his house. At least three other Egyptians have carried out similar acts, including a man who set himself on fire in front of the Egyptian Parliament this week.

ElBaradei said self-immolations spreading across North Africa are only the beginning of growing unrest. The Brotherhood, Egypt's largest opposition party, expressed similar sentiments, noting Egypt would head down the same road as Tunisia without government reform.

The international community condemned Cairo for its conduct during the last round of parliamentary elections that saw the ruling National Democratic Party of Mubarak sweep the polls. Washington this week, meanwhile, called on Tunisia to listen to the voice of the people and move forward with open elections.


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