Algeria announces food price cuts to calm unrest

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Algeria announces food price cuts to calm unrest

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Algeria’s government has moved to quell public anger after days of deadly street violence.

It says the cost of staple foods like sugar and cooking oil will be slashed.

Steep price rises over recent months have seen simmering tensions erupt into rioting. But a host of social problems including housing and unemployment lie behind the protests.

At least four people are reported dead in the disturbances in several Algerian towns.

In neighbouring Tunisia, where Internet activists have decried government censorship, the toll could be much higher. Some sources claim unrest there over unemployment has left up to 20 people dead.

The Tunisian community in Paris has denounced a media crackdown in the former French colony.

“They have recklessly arrested bloggers, musicians, artists….anyone who dares to express themselves,” said one man at a demonstration in the French capital. “It is no coincidence that it is happening now.”

The US has called in Tunisia’s ambassador in Washington over authorities handling of the riots and possible interference with the Internet.