Arab Spring Spreads To Malawi

Riots have broken out in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe, as opposition groups protest against President Bingu wa Mutharikas government.

The BBCs Joel Nkhoma in the city says protesters are burning barricades and have looted at least two businesses.

Police have retaliated by setting up roadblocks and firing teargas.

The trouble started after a court ruled on Tuesday that nationwide protests, called against the high cost of living, were illegal.

Our reporter says despite the ruling, protests are also taking place in the main commercial city, Blantyre, and the northern city of Mzuzu.

But the situation is most tense in Lilongwe, where angry crowds have been shouting, “Let him [Mr Mutharika] go”, our reporter says.

He says police roadblocks have prevented protesters from entering the city centre, where all shops are closed and streets deserted.

The riots are taking place in three townships near Lilongwe – Biwi, Kawale and Nchesi, our reporter says.

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