Jordanians riot over increase in gas prices

Jordanians riot over increase in gas prices

AMMAN - Agence France-Presse
Jordanians riot over increase in gas prices

Protesters take part in a demonstration following an announcement that Jordan would raise fuel prices, including a hike on cooking gas, in Amman. AP photo

Jordan yesterday was hit by more protests and strikes while rioting broke in southern cities and a police station was attacked, officials said, as anger mounted against a whopping rise in fuel prices.

The sudden price hike, followed by an 11 percent increase in public transport fares, drew sharp condemnation from the opposition Islamists, who warned of civil disobedience in the run-up to January’s general elections they are boycotting.

Angry protesters blocked a main road in downtown Amman as police warned they would use force if necessary to open the road. The Islamists said they plan to demonstrate later yesterday near the Interior Ministry, on Gamal Abdel Nasser Circle, where 24 people were arrested on Nov. 13 night after more than 2,000 people demonstrated there.

Officials said around half the country’s 120,000 public school teachers went on strike after a call by their union. Lawyers also stopped working in Amman and other trade unions said they are considering similar strike action.

The violence erupted on Nov. 13 night after news spread of the price increases, under which the cost of household gas will rise 53 percent and petrol around 12 percent.