Private Mozambican TV station: 4 killed including a child as police shoot at protestersBy AP
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Private Mozambican TV: 4 killed in protest
MAPUTO, Mozambique — A private television station in Mozambique says four people including a child have been killed as police shoot at protesters.
The S-TV station says the three adults were taken to hospitals, which declared them dead. The station says the child died but gave no details. Police could not immediately confirm the report.
Police opened fire Wednesday on stone-throwing crowds who were protesting rising prices in this impoverished country.
Mozambicans have seen the price of a loaf of bread rise by 25 percent, from four to five meticais (from about 11 cents to about 13 U.S. cents) in the past year. Fuel and water prices also have risen.
Protests over high prices erupted into violence in Mozambique in 2008.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.
MAPUTO, Mozambique (AP) — Police opened fire Wednesday on stone-throwing crowds who were protesting rising prices in this impoverished country, said witnesses who described seeing one boy who appeared to have suffered a fatal head injury.
The mobs also threw stones, burned tires and ransacked shops in the capital, and police responded by firing shots into the crowds and the air.
An ambulance took the apparently lifeless body of the boy away. There has been no official report of casualties in Wednesday’s rioting.
Police declared the marches illegal, saying no group had sought permission to hold them. Word had spread for days in this former Portuguese colony in southeast Africa that there would be demonstrations.
Thousands of protesters, most of them young men, lined the streets of Bagamoyo, a crowded, impoverished neighborhood just north of downtown Maputo. As they moved into the city center, they looted shops and warehouses.
Protests were also reported in other areas around Maputo. Police appealed for calm on state radio and TV and said they had made an unspecified number of arrests. Youths were blocking streets and ransacking property. Many public transport drivers have abandoned their vehicles in the streets.
Later Mozambique’s state radio and television went off the air. Only one private television station is still broadcasting.
Mozambicans have seen the price of a loaf of bread rise by 25 percent, from four to five meticais (from about 11 cents to about 13 U.S. cents) in the past year. Fuel and water costs also have risen.
Violent protests over high costs erupted in Mozambique in 2008, when global food prices jumped. Factors cited included a drop in the U.S. wheat harvest and higher demand for crops to use in biofuels.
This time, dry weather’s effect on harvests and the high fuel costs incurred when moving food from producers to consumers have been blamed. Some critics also say bad government decisions are making shortages worse and accuse producers of colluding to push up prices.
Tags: Africa, East Africa, Maputo, Mozambique, North America, Prices, United States, Violent Crime