Thursday, September 02, 2010

Seven dead from riots over bread prices in Mozambique

Mozambique is a country where 70 percent of the population is below the poverty line. So when food prices increase it really hurts, hurts enough to riot.

Seven people have been killed in rioting on the city streets on Maputo. Police are attempting to restore order, but rioters are telling each other to continue the protests.

From Reuters Alert Net, writer Charles Mangwiro tells us about the riots.

Streets in Maputo's city centre were eerily deserted after Wednesday's protests which saw seven people, including two children, killed.

In other parts of Maputo, witnesses said police opened fire on protestors in the impoverished suburb of Zimpeto but there were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries.

Schools in the capital were closed and many people remained at home to avoid the protests. In the city centre, where hundreds of protestors fought running battles with police on Wednesday, soldiers were clearing up burning barricades where shops were closed and no public transport ran.

Thousands of people angered by a 30 percent increase in the price of bread and higher electricity and water tariffs took to streets in protests which quickly turned violent.

"I opted to join the protests because life is very difficult with these hikes, the government has turned a deaf ear to our long grievances, they only need us during election time," said Teofilo Pedro, a resident of the industrial surbub of Matola on Maputo's outskirts.

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