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Hundreds protest near Jordan PM's office

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Members of a Jordanian opposition group calling for change have protested in front of the prime minister's office in the capital Amman.

Hundreds of protesters, mostly from the Islamic Action Front (IAF), the political arm of Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood, on Saturday tried to reach the prime minister's office, but their attempts were prevented by Jordanian security forces.

They were protesting against an incident in the northern city of Mafraq on Friday, when police had reportedly fired tear gas to break up clashes between Islamist demonstrators and government loyalists.

The IAF, in a statement, said scores of its activists were injured when groups allied to the government attacked participants with stones and sticks.

It alleged that assailants set fire to their headquarters in Mafraq despite the presence of thousands of policemen who failed to protect them.

"The incident proves that the government is unable to protect its citizens who demonstrate peacefully, is not qualified to run the state and incapable of coming up with the required reform," the statement said.

"What happened yesterday is tantamount to official terrorism ... and we hold the government responsible for the bloodshed," it said.

The Islamist opposition, youth groups and other parties have been protesting since January, demanding political and economic change and an end to corruption.

King Abdullah II has already sacked two cabinets over the past several months.


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