Algeria's anti-riot police deploy after protests

Fri Jan 7, 2011 12:46pm GMT

* Riot police deploy following riots

* Cost of flour, oil has doubled

By Lamine Chikhi

ALGIERS, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Anti-riot police deployed in the main arteries and around some mosques of Algiers ahead of Friday prayers after street riots this week over food price rises and the lack of job opportunities.

Hundreds of youths clashed with police in several Algerian cities earlier in the week, and ransacked stores in the capital.

On Wednesday, riot police used tear gas to disperse youths in the Algiers neighbourhood of Bab el-Oued, where the most violent of the protests occurred.

OPEC-member Algeria has seen periodic outbreaks of social unrest but riots due to rises in the cost of basic foods are rare.

The cost of flour and salad oil has doubled in the past few months, reaching record highs, and 1 kg of sugar, which a few months ago cost 70 dinars (27 U.S. cents), is now 150 dinars.   Continued...

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