Fri, September 03, 2010
World > Africa

At least 7 killed in Mozambican riot

2010-09-03 02:23:31 GMT2010-09-03 10:23:31 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Rioters destroy public facilities in Maputo, capital of Mozambique, Sept. 1, 2010. At least 7 people were killed and 288 injured in the riot hitting Maputo and Matola over price hikes, according to the government spokesman on Thursday. (Xinhua Photo)

People stand beside the body of a person killed in the riot in Maputo, capital of Mozambique, Sept. 1, 2010. (Xinhua Photo)

A boy throws a tyre in the riot in Maputo, capital of Mozambique, Sept. 1, 2010. (Xinhua Photo)

A bus is torched in the riot in Maputo, capital of Mozambique, Sept. 1, 2010. (Xinhua Photo)

Police patrol a street in Maputo, capital of Mozambique, Sept. 2, 2010. (Xinhua/Liu Dalong)

MAPUTO, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- Seven people died after the anti- price hike riot in the Mozambican capital Maputo, the government admitted on Thursday.

The updated toll includes one person drowned on Thursday and six killed the previous day in the riot, a government spokesman told reporters.

Earlier in the day, the Southern African country's Health Minister Paulo Ivo Garrido told national radio that six people died and more than 100 people were injured in the Maputo riot.

There have been conflicting reports of the toll since Wednesday. The private television STV quoted hospital sources as reporting that 10 people were confirmed dead.

Mozambican President Armando Guebuza on Thursday presided over an emergency meeting without the presence of Prime Minister Aires Ali, who is said to be on a visit to Vietnam.

Witnesses reported the situation looked calm and better one day after the riot.

However, no services are operating in Maputo, where public and private transports are out of circulating amid fears of renewed attacks.

Rioters burnt down three buses on Wednesday to vent anger at rising prices and the police action to disperse them.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets on Wednesday morning in Maputo, erecting roadblocks, hurling rocks to vehicles and setting ablaze the used tires.

Police said they shot into the air to disperse rioters, while protesters accused officers of shooting at the crowds.

Warehouses of food distribution in Maputo were vandalized as food products were the main stolen things during the riot.

The transport linking Maputo and provinces was paralyzed, especially traffic to the southern part of the country.

The violent protest came in the culmination of strikes and demonstrations in the past few days in the Portuguese-speaking country.

According to a decision made in early August, the Mozambican government began on Wednesday to lift the prices of bread by 30 percent. The price hikes for water and power came to more than 10 percent.

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