* Civil unrest hits poor tribal areas
* Scores injured in attack on police station
By Suleiman Al-Khalidi
AMMAN, Nov 15 Riots that broke out in Jordan
after the government raised fuel prices left one protester dead
on Thursday, the first fatality of violence that has spread to
several impoverished towns in the kingdom, witnesses and
security sources said.
Hundreds took to the streets on Wednesday after the
government decided to raise gasoline, cooking gas and heating
fuel prices. They blocked roads, set government buildings alight
and vadalised shops in the towns of Maan, Tafila and Karak.
The protestor was killed and scores were injured during an
attack on a police station in the country's second-largest city
of Irbid, the witnesses said.
Jordanians have held occasional protests inspired by the
Arab Spring revolts, demanding democratic reforms and curbs on
corruption. But the gatherings have been peaceful and the
security forces did not use weapons.
Demonstrators sometimes chant against King Abdullah but
there seems to be little enthusiasm for revolution. The monarchy
is seen as a guarantor of stability, balancing the interests of
tribes native to the east of the Jordan river with those of the
majority of citizens, who are of Palestinian origin.
Riot police chased scores of youths throwing stones
overnight in the main commercial district of the capital Amman
after police foiled an attempt by Islamist and tribal opposition
figures to stage an anti-government rally.
Security officials confirmed that clashes had erupted and
said police used tear gas to disperse hundreds of masked youths
and rioters who had attacked government property and burnt cars.
Most of the civil unrest is in outlying areas inhabited by
powerful tribes who are the original inhabitants of the country.
They supply the army and security forces with recruits and form
the backbone of support for the ruling Hashemite dynasty.
Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour said lifting hefty subsidies
that cost at least $2 billion annually was unavoidable to avert
economic collapse caused by a ballooning budget deficit.