A man has set himself on fire outside the parliament building in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.
Witnesses said the man had poured fuel over his clothing before setting himself alight.
The flames were put out by a police officer and the man was taken to hospital - his condition is not known.
The action echoes that of a 26-year-old Tunisian whose self-immolation sparked a wave of protest in the country that brought down the government.
The man in Cairo has been identified as a 49-year-old restaurant owner from the city of Ismailia, east of the capital.
Reuters cited a witness as saying he had suffered burns to his hands and face.
His motives were not immediately clear but a source in the interior ministry told Reuters he was protesting about his poor living standards.
The BBC's Jon Leyne in Cairo says that following the Tunisian unrest, the incident will be ringing alarm bells in the Egyptian government.'Mood of despair'
Mohamed Bouazizi set fire to himself in the Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid in mid-December, after police prevented him from selling vegetables without a permit. He died in early January.
His action was followed by weeks of increasingly violent protests across Tunisia over unemployment, corruption and high food prices which resulted in the resignation of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali last week.
Many in Egypt have voiced the same grievances as the Tunisians.
An Egyptian Facebook group has called for street protests on 25 January, which the organisers are calling a "day of revolution against torture, poverty, corruption and unemployment".
But despite popular support for the Tunisian demonstrations, there have so far been no similar large-scale protests in Egypt, says our correspondent.
The overwhelming mood of the country is despair and not anger, he adds, as illustrated by the country's very high suicide rate.