AFP – Jordan has arrested dozens of people accused of involvement in protests against rising fuel prices in which a senior police officer was gunned down, the country’s security agency said yesterday.
The deputy police chief of Maan province Colonel Abdul Razzaq Dalabeh died of a gunshot to the head in the town of Al-Husseiniya while confronting what the authorities called “riots”.
“Forty-four people who participated in the riots in a number of regions in the kingdom have been arrested and they will be brought before the courts,” the Public Security Directorate said.
It said reinforcements had been sent to the provinces, and accused “vandals and outlaws” of being behind violence in Maan, in the country’s south.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II warned on Friday that “anyone who raises a weapon against the state will be dealt with firmly”.
Two other policemen were shot and wounded, also in Al-Husseiniya, the security directorate said.
Cab and truck drivers in several provinces of southern Jordan began strike actions more than a week ago.
They were joined by bus drivers, and merchants who closed their shops on Wednesday to protest higher fuel costs.
Protests broke out this week when demonstrators blocked roads with burning tyres and confronted security forces in some areas.