Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood Accuses Government of Attacking Pro-reform Rally

Attack on a tribal pro-reform rally north of Amman leaves several injured; activists say injuries occurred when unknown assailants dispersed rally with firearms, stones and sticks.

Jordan's main opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, on Saturday accused the government of being behind an attack on a tribal pro-reform rally, north of Amman, which left several injured.

"The barbaric attack is masterminded by official bodies or quarters hostile to reform," the Brotherhood's spokesman Jamil Abu Bakr said in a statement.

Jordan Oct. 15, 2011 (AP)

Activists said that several people were hurt when unknown assailants - believed to be government loyalists - used firearms, stones and sticks to disperse a rally organized by four tribes at the village of Salhoub, 20 kilometers north of Amman.

The rally was organized to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit's government and the dissolution of parliament for failing to carry out necessary political reform, participants said.

"The attack is a dangerous gesture because it seeks to push the reform movements into an unacceptable collision with the community," Abu Bakr said.

"We emphasise that such moves will only lead to more determination on the part of reform forces ... to achieve their goals," he added.

Meanwhile, Bakhit warned that the government would deal "firmly" with all those who exploit what he termed the atmosphere of democracy in the country.

The prime minister was speaking during a cabinet meeting about a series of road closures and sit-ins across in the last three days, over demands for new municipalities to be drawn up ahead of municipal elections set for December 27.

Bakhit described the municipal polls as "the first stage of the country's comprehensive reform process," following the revision of the constitution.