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Africa
Morocco rolls back bread price hike
Violent protests force government to withdraw 30 per cent hike in bread prices.
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2007 17:35 GMT
Clashes on Sunday left at least 50
people injured [Gallo/Getty]
Violent protests over increased bread prices have forced the Moroccan government to cancel a 30 per cent price hike, reportedly linked to global costs of grain.

Cars were set on fire and buildings damaged as protesters clashed with police on Sunday in Sefrou, 200km east of the capital Rabat.
The government held an emergency meeting on Monday, and Chakib Benmoussa, the interior minister, ordered the cancellation.

On September 10, soon before the start of Ramadan, the government had authorised the price rise.
The consumption of breads and pastries rises sharply during the Muslim holy month, as families hold large feasts after sunset to break the fast.

The price hike had prompted widespread complaints from consumers, which formed into protests organised by a local branch of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights. 

Established in 1979 with branches around the country, the group has organised several sit-ins against food price rises over the past year.

The protests had bought back memories of bread riots in 1981 that left hundreds dead in Casablanca.

Those riots also were prompted by the government's decision to raise bread prices by 30 per cent.
Source:
Agencies
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