Trash heaps set ablaze in Spanish city protest

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MADRID (AP) — Residents of the southern Spanish city of Jerez have set fire to mounds of stinking rubbish bags and overflowing trash containers to protest a 20-day refuse collection strike that has left the city resembling a dump in many areas.

Firefighters had to put out 85 blazes early Wednesday in suburbs of the popular tourist destination as residents expressed anger over the situation.

It was the second night of protests. In some areas, police accompanied firefighters to protect them.

The garbage collectors are striking to protest planned layoffs.

Jerez, where sherry has long been produced, is suffering badly in the economic crisis affecting Spain and has accumulated a massive debt problem.

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