Man dies, 130 injured in Jordan clashes

March 17, 2011 - 0:0

A man died and 130 people were injured as pro-reform protesters and government supporters clashed in the Jordanian capital Amman on Saturday.

It is the first death since the outbreak of pro-reform protests in Jordan three months ago.
""Khairy Saad Jamil, 55, died today at the Prince Hamzeh Hospital"" in Amman, a medical source said without specifying the cause of death.
Another medical source at the hospital said the man had ""received blows to his chest, and his teeth were broken.""
But police chief Hussein Majali told a news conference that Jamil ""died of a heart attack"".
""There were no signs of beating on his body,"" he said.
Jamil's son insisted that his unemployed father ""got several blows to his body, leading to his death.""
""Our family is in the hospital now. We will not move until officials come to us and explain what really happened,"" he said.
There were conflicting reports on the number of people injured.
A medical source said 130 people, including a policeman, were injured in the clashes, including two in ""critical condition.""
However, police said in a statement ""60 civilians and 58 members of police, including a sergeant and a captain were injured. All of them were hospitalized.""
""The security forces had to put an end to the gathering after the two sides clashed,"" the statement said.
""Attempts by Amman's governor to calm things down through dialogue have failed and provocations and stone-throwing from both sides continued, prompting police intervention.""
A journalist at the scene said police used water cannons to break up clashes between 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, urging regime reforms and more efforts to fight corruption, a journalist reported.
Blood stains could be seen at the site of the demonstration, next to Amman's Interior Circle, or Gamal Abdel Nasser Square.
Prime Minister Maaruf Bakhit accused the Islamist opposition of seeking to sow ""chaos"" in Jordan, while the leader of the Islamic Action Front (IAF) party said the government carried out ""crimes against humanity.""
""The government of Maaruf Bakhit has given proof that it does not believe in the reforms, it is a government with blood on its hands which today has committed crimes against humanity,"" IAF chief Hamzah Mansur said.
""Young people had assembled and were acting in a civilized manner. They did not deserve that sort of treatment.""
(Source: ABC News)