Tension Escalates in Oman, Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters

World | February 28, 2011, Monday // 17:33|  views

Smoke rises from the Lulu hypermarket in Sohar, some 250 kilometers north of Oman's capital Muscat, on 28 February 2011 after protesters allegedly set it on fire during protests calling for political reforms. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Protests in Oman continue for a third straight day despite the boost of employment, ordered by Sultan Qaboos bin Said in the aftermath of weekend demonstrations, which left at least one dead and 11 others injured.

On Monday, protesters remained on the streets of the Omani industrial town of Sohar, reportedly blocking the road to the port and to a refinery, after the Sunday clashes between security forces and demonstrators demanding more jobs and political reforms.

Angry protesters reportedly burned down a supermarket, two police stations and a state building in Sohar after the clashes with police.

According to media reports, about 1000 people took to the streets on Monday and hundreds more were lingering at a roundabout, angry at the police who fired tear gas at protesters.

However, demonstrators refused to disperse, chanting "The people want the reform of the regime," the Financial Times reported.

The ruler of some 40 years, Sultan Qaboos bin Said, has ordered the hiring of 50 000 citizens in the aftermath of weekend protests that left at least one person dead and 11 others injured, the CNN reported.

He has also reshuffled his cabinet and announced some social reforms in an attempt to appease protesters.

This level of unrest is unprecedented in Oman, which has experienced economic liberalization and modernization in the last couple decades.

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Tags: Oman, protesters, demonstrators, police, Sultan Qaboos, tear gas


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