Three dead in Algerian protests

ALGIERS, Algeria, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Three people have died and hundreds injured in Algerian protests over housing shortages, rising food prices and failing economic policies, authorities said.

The protests in Algeria come as similar demonstrations were ongoing in the neighboring North African nation of Tunisia in which at least four people died, Inter Press Service reported Sunday.


The Tunisian protests were aimed at the poor economic performance of President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali.

In Algeria, thousands of young people threw stones at the police, set tires on fire, stormed post offices and government banks, demanding better living conditions and a greater share of the country's oil wealth.

Algeria provides Europe with 20 percent of its gas needs and is the world's sixth largest natural gas producer after Russia, the United States, Canada, Iran, and Norway.

Algeria, a member of the OPEC, saw its oil income rise sharply in 2010 as a result of higher oil and gas prices but the benefits didn't trickle down to disenfranchised Algerians, protesters said.

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