Blizzards paralyse Algerian city
The worst snowfalls in more than 50 years have paralysed Algeria's
capital, Algiers, and more than a third of the country, the authorities

The bad weather is reported to have caused at least 10 deaths and
hundreds of motorists have had to be rescued from their stranded

Towns and villages have been cut off, while many sporting events have
been postponed until next week.

Weather forecasters say the conditions will persist for several days.

Neighbouring Tunisia has also been affected.

        Snow is wonderful. I am 24 and I had never seen it
Algiers traffic policeman
The Algerian authorities said people should not venture out unless

The BBC's Mohammed Arezki Himeur in Algiers says that Liberty Park,
where young lovers usually meet, was deserted.

Even the birds which normally sing for the courting couples did not
brave the cold.

Gas riots

Several areas in the north-east, including the Mediterranean port oil
city of Skikda, were cut off after 36 hours of snow and strong winds.

Our correspondent says that the snow has cut off roads and electricity
supplies in mountainous regions.

Most of the 10 fatalities have been caused by traffic accidents.

The cold snap has also increased opposition to recent gas price hikes,
which has seen several riots, correspondents say.

Riots have been reported in four Algerian towns after the price of
butane gas, a vital fuel for cooking and heating homes, was raised to
200 dinars ($2.77) per canister from 170 dinars.

Now there is a shortage of gas in some areas, while the price of bread
has doubled in places.

But the blizzards have not upset everyone.

"Snow is wonderful. I am 24 and I had never seen it," said an Algiers
traffic policeman, according to Reuters news agency.
Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2005/01/27 17:11:55 GMT