Jordan Government Opponents Outnumber Supporters in Clashes

This was the seventh straight Friday that Jordanians took to the streets to demand more say in decision-making, inspired by uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.

Clashes erupted in Jordan's capital between government supporters and opponents at a protest calling for more public freedom and lower food prices.

Police peacefully separated the groups and no injuries were reported.

Jordan protests - AP - Jan 29, 2011
AP

It was the seventh straight Friday that Jordanians took to the streets to demand more say in decision-making, inspired by uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.

The Amman protest drew about 2,000 people, many affiliated with hard-line Muslim fundamentalists opposed to Jordan's moderate policies of a free-market economy and cordial relations with the U.S. and Israel.

About 100 government supporters trailed the protesters, chanting: Our blood and souls, we sacrifice for you Abu Hussein - a reference to Jordan's King
Abdullah II.

Earlier this month, Jordan's King Abdullah sacked his government in the wake of street protests, asking his former ex-military adviser Marouf Bakhit to form a new cabinet.

King Abdullah's move came after thousands of Jordanians took to the streets - inspired by the regime ouster in Tunisia and the turmoil in Egypt - and called for the resignation of Prime Minister Samir Rifai who is blamed for a rise in fuel and food prices and slowed political reforms.

Many Jordanians hold successive governments responsible for a prolonged recession and rising public debt that hit a record $15 billion this year in one of the Arab world's smallest economies, heavily dependent on foreign aid.