Free Headline Alerts     
Worldwide Web


Monday, February 21, 2011     FOR YOUR EYES ONLY

Pipe-wielding Bedouins crack down on protesters in Jordan

AMMAN — The Islamist campaign against the Hashemite regime has encountered its first attacks by supporters of King Abdullah.


Hundreds of loyalists to the monarchy attacked an Islamist protest in Amman on Feb. 18. At least eight were injured when the 2,000 protesters were assaulted by some 200 regime loyalists, mostly Bedouins who carried batons and pipes.

"It is clear that this was encouraged and helped by the government," an opposition source said.

Also In This Edition

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 demonstrators.

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.

About Us     l    Privacy     l     l
Copyright © 2011    East West Services, Inc.    All rights reserved.