Jordan Government Backers Attack Protesters in Amman, Injuring Six

1,000 Jordanians join protest camp in central Amman, styled after Cairo's Liberation square, and call for dissolution of parliament, firing of country's prime minister.

Pro-government supporters in Jordan attacked a gathering of protesters on Friday who were demanding the dissolution of parliament and the firing of the country's prime minister, pelting them with stones and injuring six people.

The violence came as about 1,000 Jordanians joined protests at the camp in central Amman, styled after Cairo's Liberation Square, where a popular uprising led to the ouster of Egypt's longtime president.

Protesters in Amman - Reuters - March 24, 2011

Late Thursday, 35 activists were injured in a similar confrontation at the central square in front of the Interior Ministry in Amman.

It marked one of the worst incidents of violence in three months of demonstrations at which Jordanian activists, inspired by pro-democracy protests sweeping the Arab world, have demanded more political say in the kingdom's affairs.

Also on Friday, about 10,000 young people rallied in an Amman suburb to demonstrate their support for King Abdullah II and the ruling Hashemite family.

Participants in the event, which was apparently organized by the Ministry of Education and other government departments, waved the Jordanian flag and chanted slogans in support of the reforms proposed by the king.

King Abdullah has directed Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit to carry out "speedy and genuine" political and economic reforms, foremost the enactment of a new election law and a political party's law.

The rally was also intended to show opposition for calls by some opposition figures for turning the country into a constitutional monarchy and curtailing the monarch's powers, activists said.

In central Amman, at least 30 protesters were injured overnight and participants criticized policemen for their failure to protect demonstrators, who call themselves the "March 24 Youth".