Long queues in Moz capital as calm returns

2010-09-03 11:51

Maputo – Long queues for food and fuel formed in the streets of Mozambique’s capital as shops reopened today after two days of violent protests over rising prices that left seven dead and hundreds wounded.

The city’s largest hospital said the stream of patients injured in the violence had stopped by midnight yesterday, after fresh clashes between police and demonstrators had erupted earlier in the evening.

Maputo Central Hospital emergency director Antonio Assis da Costa said 32 patients treated at the hospital yesterday had been hit by rubber bullets fired by police.

Maputo residents, left hungry after two days of store closures, formed 20m queues outside bakeries today, but complained that they could barely afford to buy bread after a 17% price increase.

“People don’t have money to buy food,” domestic worker Elisa Aldino said, visibly angry as she queued for bread at a bakery in a middle-class neighbourhood.

“They don’t have enough. If they don’t have money, they sleep without eating.”

Long queues of cars had also formed at petrol stations in the city.

By this morning police had reopened major roads and highways closed on Wednesday and yesterday when protesters barricaded them with burning tyres.

Heavy police patrols continued throughout the city today, as small vendors reopened their stalls and small trucks loaded with people and produce took passengers to markets.

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