The violence marked the end of more than three weeks of peaceful protest
led by the Muslim Brotherhood. In mid-February, the Brotherhood, joined by
Palestinian students and left-wing groups, began holding daily
demonstrations in Amman.
The campaign has been called "I'm Coming" and demanded a significant
reduction in the authority of Abdullah, who has led Jordan since 1999. In
the Feb. 18 demonstration, hundreds of protesters called for democratic
reforms and free elections.
"We want a complete change in policy," the demonstrators chanted.
The opposition campaign was said to have alarmed the Jordanian regime.
For the first time, leading Bedouins were said to have joined the
The government disassociated itself from the attack on the
demonstrators. But officials acknowledged that no arrests took place and
that the police did not intervene. Bedouins held pro-government
demonstrations in other parts of Jordan without incident.
"The protesters as well as the police were surprised to see a group
wielding batons and attacking other protesters, which led to the injury of
several people," government spokesman Taher Edwan said.