8 hurt in Jordan clash: witnesses, medical source

AMMAN — Government supporters clashed with young protesters in Amman on Friday, leaving eight people injured, in the first such violence since protests began in Jordan, witnesses and medical sources said.

“A quarrel broke out between pro-government rally and another demonstration staged in the same location,” said police spokesman Mohamed Khatib, referring to the rally of young people demanding political change.

The pro-reform rally gathered 400 people, according to organisers, or 300 according to police. Demonstrators told AFP that they were dispersing when government supporters started to chase and hit them with batons.

Medical sources said two of the wounded — a journalist and his son — were admitted to hospital with injuries. Witnesses added that six others were injured, but did not need to go to hospital.

On Wednesday, about 30 university students demonstrated in front of the royal palace in Amman, calling for constitutional reforms and limits on the powers of King Abdullah II.

About 1,500 people rallied on the same day in the northern city of Irbid to denounce government “corruption” and demand political reforms, participants said.

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