Clashes in Jordan's Maan leave one dead

Published April 24th, 2014 - 07:43 GMT

Calm was restored in Maan following riots and roadblocks that resulted in one death on Tuesday evening, official sources said.

A group of men reportedly fired at a police patrol that was on routine duty in Maan, some 220km south of Amman, at around 6pm on Tuesday, prompting the officers to respond, a Public Security Department statement said.

“The shooting resulted in the death of one citizen,” the PSD added.

The incident sparked riots in the city, with angry residents blocking roads, Gendarmerie Public Relations Department Director Lt. Col. Ahmad Abu Hammad said.

“We used our trucks to open several roads that were blocked by groups of angry Maan residents, but so far there are no direct clashes,” Abu Hammad told The Jordan Times.

Maan Mayor Majed Sharari said the dead resident was 22 years old and was shot outside his house.

Sharari blamed security forces “for choosing the wrong time and place for the chase they carried out on Tuesday”. 

“Around 6pm is usually a busy time for residents of Maan because they run errands and visit each other, and the victim was shot at random because he was standing outside his house,” the mayor added.

He noted that the municipality announced a three-day mourning following the shooting incident. 

Most of the stores, public schools, and Al Hussein Bin Talal University closed following calls by the municipality.

Despite several attempts by The Jordan Times to contact the university to confirm its closure, no one was available for comment.  

Sharari criticized the way security forces chased people, stressing that he is not against tracking down wanted persons, but “shooting at people will contribute in escalating the situation in the southern city of Maan”. 

Meanwhile, Abu Abdullah, one of the city’s residents, said a number of Maanis staged a demonstration in the city centre on Tuesday, burning tyres and denouncing the shooting, but the protest concluded without incident.

He noted that life was back to normal in the afternoon and people were seen shopping at the city’s main market.

Meanwhile, a Gendarmerie officer, who was shot on Sunday while on duty at a court in Maan, is still hospitalised at King Hussein Medical Centre, Abu Hammad said.

“The officer is still recovering at the hospital and is listed in stable condition,” the official added.

The injured officer was with three other gendarmes at 8:30pm when they were attacked by the occupants of an unidentified vehicle.

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