AMMAN, Nov 15 (Reuters) – Rioting in Jordan after the government raised fuel prices left one protester dead, the first fatality of violence sweeping impoverished towns in the kingdom, and Islamists called for more protests on Friday. Hundreds took to the streets this week after the government decided to raise gasoline, cooking gas and heating fuel prices. They blocked roads, set government buildings alight and trashed shops in the towns of Maan, Tafila, Salt and Karak.
The protester was killed and scores were injured during an attack on a police station overnight in Jordan’s second-largest city of Irbid, witnesses said. Police said they used tear gas to disperse masked youths who attacked government property. Some protesters torched part of Irbid’s municipal headquarters later on Thursday to vent their anger at officials who said the dead young man had been armed, the witnesses said. “The country has risen up from north to south and this state of popular tension is unprecedented,” said Murad Adailah, a senior member of the Islamic Action Front (IAF), the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Front called for more protests after Friday prayers in the centre of the capital Amman and in mosques across the country. The Brotherhood is Jordan’s biggest opposition group. Riot police chased scores of youths throwing stones overnight in Amman’s main commercial area after foiling an attempt to stage an anti-government rally. Fewer protesters could be seen in the capital by late afternoon. Some tried to regroup but police sealed off the area nearby.