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Two dead and 300 arrested as mobs loot supermarkets in Argentina

Violence erupts as impatience grows with government of President Cristinia Kirchner.

A man tries to break the windows of a supermarket in Buenos Aires earlier this week.
A man tries to break the windows of a supermarket in Buenos Aires earlier this week.
Image: AP Photo/Daniel Luna

MOBS LOOTED SUPERMARKETS in Rosario, Argentina’s third largest city, early this morning, leaving two dead and two seriously injured in the latest in a spate of such outbursts.

Looters had also rampaged in other Argentina cities on Thursday and into the night, officials said. Nationwide, some 100 people were injured and 300 arrested.

The violence came amid a growing wave of anger with the government of President Cristinia Kirchner, as middle class people and unions demand wage increases and safer streets.

Matias Drivet, a Rosario city hall official, said one person was stabbed and another shot to death as crowds raided stores, most of them owned by Chinese immigrants, on the outskirts of the northeastern city.

Rosario is a hub for industry as well as for farm exports.

In Bariloche, high in the Andes near the border with Chile, officials said looters were apparently venting anger over a blackout that had left much of surrounding Neuquen province without power on Wednesday.

A crowd wielding clubs stormed a town supermarket Thursday called Changomas, owned by the US retail giant Walmart, and stole TV sets, bicycles and electrical appliances, witnesses said. Another supermarket was also looted.

The government deployed soldiers to Bariloche, a tourist city best for skiing, 1,650 kilometers (1,000 miles) south-west of Buenos Aires.

Looting was also reported in the cities of Resistencia, Zarate and Campana, in most cases with injuries and arrests.

- © AFP, 2012

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