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Mozambique Scraps Price Hikes


Government says it will reverse price increases for bread, electricity and water that sparked deadly rioting and protests

Mozambique's government says it will reverse price increases for bread, electricity and water that sparked deadly rioting and protests.

Planning Minister Aiuba Cuereneia said Tuesday the government will introduce subsidies to allow the price of bread to come back down.

He said it will withdraw the price increase on water and scale back the increase on electricity.

The minister also said the government will introduce several austerity measures, including freezing salaries and reducing travel budgets for senior officials.

The government had said last week the increases were "irreversible," because they stemmed from rising prices worldwide.

Three days of riots and demonstrations across Mozambique last week killed 13 people and injured more than 600 others.

Police fired live bullets at protesters after some demonstrators threw stones and blocked streets with burning tires.

Authorities have arrested more than 280 people in connection with the unrest, including at least six people who allegedly sent text messages inciting protests.

Police say 66 stores were looted during the protests.

Despite a high growth rate in recent years, Mozambique remains one of the world's poorest countries. Per capita annual income is about $900, one of the lowest levels in Africa.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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