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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 February 2008, 16:58 GMT
Man shot in Egyptian bread queue
By Magdi Abdelhadi
Arab affairs analyst, BBC News

An Egyptian bread vendor carries a tray of bread on his head whilst cycling in a Cairo street
The global rise in food prices has affected unsubsidised bread
A man has been shot while queueing for bread in Egypt.

Details of the incident were published in an Egyptian daily newspaper, al Masri al Youm.

It said that a worker in a Cairo bakery shot the customer following an altercation over the way the worker had treated the customer's wife.

It is the latest incident related to rising demand for subsidised bread. Earlier this week, a woman was stabbed after a brawl in a bread queue.

Tempers run high

The incidents are a sign of rising tension in a country where about 20% of the 80 million population is estimated to live under the poverty line.

Other estimates put the number of the poor at 40%.

Egypt relies heavily on imported wheat, and the global rise in food prices has led to a dramatic increase in the price of unsubsidised bread.

As a result, the demand for subsidised commodities has gone up.

Tempers often run high in the chaotic queues as people fear that the cheap bread will run out.

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