As riots continue to rage in Tunisia, the neighboring North African country of Algiers joined in with riots of their own, leaving 18-year-old Azzedine Lebza dead as the first casualty, another two dead and as many as 800 injured.
The riots have been continuing for the past three weeks in Tunisia, inspired by widespread economic insecurity, including inflation and the great divide between the life situations of the rich and the poor. The United States State Department issued the first statement on the events in Tunisia this past Friday when Philip Crowly, the State Department spokesman said the “American administration was concerned by the Tunisian government’s interference with the internet, urging restraint on all sides.”
Algeria joined into the fray on January 5 with rioting in response to rising unemployment and a decision by the government to increase the prices of many staples such as flour, sugar, and oil for cooking. Despite a subsequent government decision to cut the cost of import duties and taxes on those products, rioting continued into Sunday.