Middle East

Jordan Protesters Call for Downfall of Regime

Thousands of demonstrators chanted Islamic Awakening slogan “the people want the downfall of the regime” in Jordan on Friday, although a day billed as the culmination of three days of protests passed off largely in peace.

Jordan has so far largely avoided the unrest that has swept across the Middle East over the past two years, but a decision this week to raise fuel prices led to the demonstrations, Reuters reported.

The mainly urban Muslim Brotherhood announced on Friday it was joining the protests, lending the voice of the country’s largest opposition movement to demonstrations which had previously been focused on rural and tribal areas.

Friday’s protest near the main Husseini Mosque in downtown Amman was peaceful, with police separating the demonstrators denouncing King Abdullah from a smaller crowd chanting in support of the monarch.

“Go down Abdullah, go down,” the main crowd of about 3,000 protesters chanted as police, some in riot gear, showed up in the streets.

“Raising prices is like playing with fire,” said one banner.

Abdullah cancelled a visit to London he had been due to make next week, Britain’s Foreign Office said, without giving further details.

Witnesses said other Friday protests also ended peacefully in the Northern city of Irbid and in restive Southern towns of Karak, Tafila and Maan, dispelling fears of wider civil unrest.

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