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Angolan police fire tear gas at thousands of people protesting fuel price hike

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Angolan police fired tear gas in the capital Luanda and other cities, Benguela and Namibe, as thousands of protesters took to the streets a week after clashes over a recent fuel hike killed at least five people.

On June 8, President Joao Lourenco fired the economic coordination minister and replaced him with the central bank governor in the wake of the deadly protests.

Africa’s second-biggest crude oil producer earlier this month joined its larger continental rival Nigeria in reducing gasoline subsidies, almost doubling pump prizes, and triggering protests.

The subsidy cut nearly doubled the gasoline price to almost 300 kwanzas ($0.4781) per liter, although that was still below the market rate.

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Local media at the time quoted Angolan Economic Coordination Minister Manuel Nunes Junior, who was subsequently fired, saying the aim was to rein in government spending.

On Saturday in Benguela, a large crowd of protesters holding cardboard placards was shown on social media and local media as anti-riot police with batons and helmets patrolled the streets.

In Luanda, police fired teargas to control the crowd, with TV footage showing at least one burning barricade spewing smoke.

Police did not immediately respond to requests for details on people who could be injured or arrested.

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