Eight injured in Jordan protests

Saturday, February 19, 2011

AMMAN - At least eight people were injured in clashes between pro and anti-government demonstrators in Jordan’s capital Amman, a media report said Saturday.

Anti-government protests continued Friday as Jordanians took to the streets demanding constitutional reform and more say in decision-making, Al Jazeera reported.

About 2,000 pro-democracy protesters were holding their peaceful weekly demonstration in the capital when they came under attack from pro-government activists armed with batons, pipes and stones, Iran’s Press TV said.

According to medical sources those injured, all pro-democracy protesters, suffered fractures to the skull, arms or legs. A journalist was among the injured.

Tareq Kmeil, a student at the protest, said: “They (government supporters) beat us with batons and pipes and hurled rocks at us. We tried to defend ourselves, to beat them back.” He said at least eight people suffered injuries.

“Police didn’t do anything to protect us,” Kmeil said.

Some pro-government supporters also denounced Al Jazeera, blaming it for fomenting unrest across the Arab world.

“Al Jazeera is behind every sickness,” read some of their signs.

The demonstrations, inspired by the unrest in the Middle East, reflect growing discontent fuelled by the most serious domestic economic crisis in years and accusations of rampant government corruption.

King Abdullah II dismissed his cabinet earlier this month after massive street protests against the government’s economic and political policies.

Jordan’s new Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit has promised to follow instructions given by the king and carry out “real economic and political reforms”, including amending the election law.

Pro-democracy protesters demand that the prime minister be democratically elected rather than being appointed by the king.

Filed under: Politics

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