44 arrested in Jordan in protests against rise in fuel prices
The Interior Minister assures that security forces are attempting to capture the shooter who killed the senior police officer and prosecute him.
44 individuals have been arrested on Saturday in Jordan for being involved in protests against increasing fuel prices after a senior police officer was shot and killed.
The victim, Colonel Abdul Razzaq Dalabeh, the deputy police chief of Maan province, was struck in the head in the town of Al-Husseiniya on Thursday while on the streets trying to calm down the situation that authorities are calling "riots".
Interior Minister Mazen Al-Faraya assured on Friday that "the security services are working to arrest the perpetrator and bring him to justice as soon as possible".
In a statement, the Public Security Directorate said, "Forty-four people who participated in the riots in a number of regions in the kingdom have been arrested and they will be brought before the courts," adding that reinforcements have been brought in to diffuse the situation further as "vandals and outlaws" continue to incite street violence.
In response, Jordan's King Abdullah II threatened on Friday that "anyone who raises a weapon against the state will be dealt with firmly." Two other police officers were wounded in the protests in the same area according to the security directorate.
As a result of the fuel crisis, the country also witnessed strikes by taxi and truck drivers more than a week ago who were later joined by bus drivers and merchants. Fuel prices have doubled over the past year in Jordan, especially the diesel used by trucks and buses and kerosene for heating. Unemployment rates already hit 25% overall and 50% among youth.
Although the Jordanian government issued stimulus and financial aid to the families most affected, this was not sufficient to meet the needs of the people, which led to the outbreak of protests.