Two killed in riots over services, jobs in Algeria

(Reuters) - Two demonstrators were killed when clashes broke out late on Friday between riot police and residents demanding better living conditions in southern Algeria, residents and a hospital said.

Riots over public housing and services are common but rarely result in deaths in the OPEC oil-producing country where the government uses energy revenues to fund subsidy programmes to avert unrest.

Some 25 protesters were also reported to have been injured in the riot in Touggourta, southern Algeria, after disillusioned youth took to the streets to protest against lack of subsidized housing, drinking water and jobs.

There was no immediate comment from local authorities.

Algeria mostly avoided the 2011 Arab Spring protests that rocked its neighbours and the government spent heavily on subsidied food and basic goods to calm protests over food prices.

The country relies heavily on oil revenues for its budget for state expenditure. With nearly $200 billion in reserves, Algeria has plenty of financial cushion for public investment, but some officials recently called the fall in world oil prices a warning over spending.