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Tens of thousands riot in Mogadishu over food prices

Somalis take to the streets of Mogadishu, protesting at traders' refusal to accept old 1,000-shilling notes

Story: Troops have fired into tens of thousands of rioting Somalis, killing two people in the latest eruption of anger over high food prices in Africa. In the capital Mogadishu, protesters marched against the refusal of traders to accept old 1,000-shilling notes, blaming them and a growing number of counterfeiters for rising food costs. Many of the protesters wielded thick sticks, and some hurled stones at cars and buses. Hundreds of shops and restaurants in southern Mogadishu closed their doors for fear of looting. In Mogadishu, the price of a kilogram of corn meal has risen from 12 cents (6p) in January to 25 cents. Another staple, rice, has gone up in that time from $26 to $47.50 for a 50kg sack. Food prices also have been affected by the plummeting Somali shilling, which lost nearly half its value this year, dropping from 17,000 shillings to the US dollar to 30,000 amid growing insecurity and a market clogged with counterfeit notes. Half of Somalia's seven million population faces famine, blamed on an enduring drought as well as soaring food prices. Food protests have also erupted in three other African countries, including Senegal

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