Egypt’s inflation up to 21 percent

(AP) — A government official says inflation in Egypt soared to 21.1 percent in May, as rising prices drive up the country’s food costs.

The official Middle East News Agency quoted head of the Mobilization and Statistics Organization as saying Tuesday that inflation in rural areas increased even higher to 22.9 percent in May.

In March, inflation reached 14.4 percent. About 20 percent of the country’s 76.5 million people live below the poverty line of about $2 per day.

On Saturday, thousands of demonstrators fought with police after a protest over flour rations in a town on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast. In the last two months, 11 people have died in clashes while standing in line to buy subsidized bread.

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