Food riots in Algeria

Food riots in Algeria
# 08 January 2011 16:36 (UTC +04:00)
Baku - APA. Fresh protests erupted in Algeria on Saturday against soaring food prices as the government considered measures to limit the cost of staple foodstuffs to quell the unrest, APA reports citing international news agencies.

Algerians have held violent demonstrations across the country since Wednesday in protest against high unemployment and food price inflation which has seen the cost of staple products like sugar, cooking oil and flour double in recent months.

Fresh protests broke out in the Kabylie region east of Algiers on Saturday, including in the two cities of Tizi Ouzou and Bejaia, witnesses told Reuters by phone.

The Kabylie region is considered a stronghold of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb so any unrest there is highly sensitive.

Interior Minister Daho Ould Kablia was quoted by official press agency APS as saying that two people had been killed and 400 injured in protests across the country since Thursday.

APS said protesters ransacked government buildings, bank branches and post offices in several eastern cities, including Constantine, Jijel, Setif and Bouira, on Thursday night and Friday morning.

"There is a lot of tension in the air. People are afraid. In my neighbourhood, this morning there was no bread, no milk, nothing," said pensioner Abdallah Chiboub, 65, who lives in Bab Ezzouar east of Algiers.

The government was due to meet later to discuss measures to limit the profit margins traders can charge for staple foods to try to quell the unrest.
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