NOUAKCHOTT, Jul 26 – 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 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.