Algerians protest soaring prices

AFP , Thursday 6 Jan 2011

Hundreds of Algerians took to the streets to protest soaring prices


Riots have erupted in Algeria in protest at soaring food costs, with youths in a suburb of the capital stoning security forces and torching tyres late Wednesday, according to witnesses.

Clashes erupted after dark in the Bab El Oued area of Algiers when dozens of younths barricaded a road with burning tyres, a witness said.

"They hurled stones at the anti-riot police in the area. A group of youths wrecked a bus shelter," a resident told AFP by telephone.
Similar protests were held in other suburbs and towns.

Demonstrators also blocked roads on Monday in Tipaza, 70 kilometres (45 miles) west of the capital, in protest against rising food prices and difficult living conditions, the El Khabar daily reported Wednesday.

Prices of basic items like sugar and oil have soared in Algeria in recent months. Commerce Minister Mustapha Benbada said Wednesday the rises were not unique to Algeria but part of a worldwide trend.

Neighbouring Tunisia has seen weeks of similar protests against unemployment and the rising cost of living, sparked by the December 17 self-immolation of a university graduate who died of his injuries on Tuesday.

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