MAPUTO (Reuters) - Police fired rubber bullets and teargas as they clashed with demonstrators who burned tyres and blocked roads in protests on Wednesday against rising prices in the capital of impoverished Mozambique, witnesses said.
Riots spread throughout Maputo and there were reports of shops being vandalised, the witnesses said.
Residents of the southern African state say they have been hit by rising costs for basic necessities including bread, along with soaring costs for fuel, cement and other essentials.
“I can hardly feed myself. I will join the protest because I’m outraged by this high cost of living,” Nelfa Temoteo, who lives in the capital’s densely populated Malhazine suburb, said.
Maputo police issued a stern warning to protesters and appealed for calm.
“This is an attempt at manipulation and public incitement to an illegal demonstration,” police commander Pedro Cossa told Radio Mozambique.
In 2008, at least six people were killed in Mozambique in protests in over high fuel prices and living costs. The government agreed to cut the price of diesel fuel for minibus taxis.