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Government backers attack Jordan protest; 100 hurt

More than 100 people were injured on Friday as pro-reform protesters and government supporters clashed in Amman, prompting police to use water cannons to disperse them.



AmmanL: More than 100 people were injured on Friday as pro-reform protesters and government supporters clashed in Amman, prompting police to use water cannons to disperse them.

Anti-riot police also broke up a protest camp for
students and arrested several of them, a security official said to a news agency.

"There are more than 100 people injured, including
policemen. Two of the injured are in critical condition," a
medical source at the scene said.

A journalist at the scene said police used water
cannons to break up clashes between the students protesting to
demand reforms and government supporters.

The clashes erupted after around 200 government
supporters hurled large stones at more than 2,000 young
demonstrators from different movements, including the powerful
Islamist opposition, took part to call for reforms to the
current regime and more efforts to fight corruption, a news
journalist reported.

Spots of blood marked the location of the
demonstration next to Amman`s Interior Circle, or Gamal Abdel
Nasser Square.

On Thursday night, government supporters attacked the
young protesters with stones, injuring at least 30 people.

The demonstrators had complained that "our gathering
is peaceful, but this did not prevent the attacks".

"Does the king agree with such actions? We are
Jordanians and we have the right to express ourselves," said
Reda Darwish, 20.

At nightfall yesterday, police attempted to disperse
the youths, cutting off electricity to the square around 11:00
pm (2100 GMT), a journalist witnessed.

Protesters said around 50 "loyalists" attacked them
with rocks after the power supply was lost, adding that police
who surrounded the scene did not intervene.

"We hold the interior minister responsible for this
incident and we call on the king and the people to protect us
from these thugs who are attacking us," said Nihad Zuhair,
another protester.

The students want corrupt officials to be put on trial
and security services to stop interfering in their affairs.
"The revolution is happening all around us," they
shouted. "Jordan, your turn is coming."

"We want constitutional amendments to have
parliamentary governments," said Alaa Fazaa of the Jayeen (We
are Coming) group, adding the protests would go on until their
demands were met.

The protesters, including some expatriates, have
created "committees" to clean up the location and provide
food, water and beverages as well as medical care to each
other.

Since January, leftwing activists have joined forces
with nationalists and the Islamist opposition in calling for
far-reaching political reforms and an end to what they say is
rampant corruption.

More than 200 supporters of the Islamist movement and
other groups demonstrated after Friday midday prayers near the
Israeli embassy to push reforms and mark the 43rd anniversary
of the Battle of Karameh with the Jewish state.

PTI

From Zee News

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