INTRODUCTION: Egypt appealed for international economic help on Thursday (20 January) after two days of violent riots over increased food prices.
INTRODUCTION: Egypt appealed for international economic help on Thursday (20 January) after two days of violent riots over increased food prices. More than 40 people died in demonstrations which affected numerous towns throughout the country.
SYNOPSIS: President Anwar Sadat's government had planned increases on such basic commodities as sugar, rice, flour and domestic gas cylinders. These increases were suspended after the rioting.
Mob violence hit Cairo for the second day running on Wednesday, although the government had announced an indefinite 14-hour a day curfew on Cairo and Alexandria. It also ordered police to open fire against demonstrators on sight. Many streets were strewn with stones and broken glass and stained with blood. Lorry loads of police stood guard everywhere.
The government blamed "Communists" for the riots and informed sources quoted by Reuters news agency say a number of suspected Communists were rounded up during curfew hours.
The riots were the worst since food riots a year ago and damage is estimated to run into millions of Egyptian pounds (same sterling). Cairo resembled a battle ground after them and about 600 people were injured.
As calm was being restored, the Budget and Planning Committee of the Egyptian Parliament worked out its call for aid. It decided to ask for one billion Egyptian pounds from the International Monetary fund, the United States, Europe, Arab oil countries and Egyptians living abroad.