Bolivian President Evo Morales has abruptly abandoned the southern highlands city of Oruro after protesters angered by rising prices booed him and set off dynamite.

Morales canceled plans to participate in a Thursday march, returning to La Paz, after people in the mining city mounted protests against rising food prices and shortages.

They are especially upset about a near doubling in the price of sugar after the government lifted subsidies.

Morales' popularity has plummeted since he tried to lift subsidies on gasoline, flour and sugar in December. He subsequently abandoned the effort — but did remove price controls on sugar.

On Thursday, there were also protests in the main Bolivian cities of La Paz, Santa Cruz and Cochabamba.