Egyptians protest bread shortages, clash with police

Hundreds of Egyptian demonstrators sealed off a road and burned tyres on Saturday to protest at bread shortages in the northern coastal town of Burullus, security sources said.

 Police used teargas and batons to disperse the crowds and three protesters were hospitalised suffering from teargas inhalation, the sources said.

 One security source said rubber bullets had been fired at the crowd.

Protesters accused local officials and bakeries of stealing flour earmarked for subsidised bread, causing shortages. High wheat prices have put great strain on Egypt’s bread subsidy system, where the urban poor depend on cheap bread to survive. The demand for subsidised bread has grown and the heavy subsidy has increased the incentive to divert subsidised flour illegally to other uses.Egypt said in May it would add at least 17 million people to the ranks of ration card holders to ease the effect of rising food prices

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