A Jordanian officer was killed during protests against high fuel prices in Ma’an Governorate, in the south of the country.
The police said in a statement that the officer was shot in the head, when he was “dealing with riots that were being carried out by a group of vandals and outlaws in the Husseiniya area,” in the poor governorate of Ma’an, which has previously witnessed protests against high prices.
The statement added: “We will strike with an iron fist against anyone who attempts to attack lives and public property and threatens the security of the homeland and the citizen.”
Four other police officers were wounded in the clashes.
Witnesses reported that they saw a long convoy of armed vehicles entering Ma’an, to reinforce the police presence in the neighborhood, in which the police officer was killed, according to Reuters news agency.
The agency quoted eyewitnesses as saying that some youths clashed with police officers in several poor neighborhoods in the area.
According to Reuters, dozens of young people took part in demonstrations in the Tafilah neighborhood of the capital, and were chased by the security forces, while chanting anti-government slogans.
According to eyewitnesses, the demonstrators burned car tires on a highway between the capital and the Dead Sea, causing traffic disruption.
And in the north of the country, on the border with Syria, confrontations took place with police officers, in many neighborhoods, in the city of Irbid, the third largest city in the country in terms of population.
And the confrontations moved to neighboring small towns, as the police fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators while they were throwing stones at the police.
The US Embassy issued a notice regarding restrictions on travel by government workers to southern Jordan, whether for personal or official reasons.
The Jordanian government has pledged to consider the protesters’ demands, but said it has paid $700 million this year to curb fuel price hikes.
She added that she could not pay more, due to the conditions set by the International Monetary Fund, to implement the program of structural economic reforms in the country.
Shops closed on Wednesday in Ma’an and many other cities, in solidarity with the demand to reduce diesel prices, which incurred great losses for merchants.
Protesters threatened to stage demonstrations on Friday, and the police reinforced their presence near the government headquarters in the capital.