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Posted by terres on April 8, 2008

Egyptians fight police amid rising food prices

The Associated Press

Egypt: Thousands of demonstrators angry about rising prices and stagnant salaries torched government buildings, looted shops and hurled bricks at police who responded with tear gas Sunday in the industrial town of town of Mahalla el-Kobra in the Nile Delta, as Egyptians defied government warnings and staged a nationwide strike.

Can Everyone Join the Police Force, Mr Mubark?

Thousands of officers chased rioters through the streets and amassed around Mahalla, 120 kilometers (75 miles) north of Cairo. About 150 people were arrested and 80 wounded as riots raged through the night among residents and disgruntled workers at the largest textile factory in Egypt.

In Cairo the government sent thousands of riot police to many of the main squares to intimidate people from showing up.

Will They Be Fed in Prison?

Nearly 100 others were arrested earlier elsewhere across Egypt, officials said, as thousands skipped work and school and hundreds protested over the rising cost of food and deteriorating working conditions.

The U.S.-backed government of President Hosni Mubarak strongly warned citizens against participating in the strikes and demonstrations. Strikes and demonstrations are illegal in Egypt under the country’s emergency law, and protesters are often detained by Egyptian security forces.

Fighting Hunger with Guns!

Nearly 40 percent Egypt’s 76 million people live below or near the poverty line of US$2 a day. The prices of staples such as cooking oil and rice have nearly doubled in recent months, amid widespread shortages of government-subsidized bread. Full report

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