Skip to main content

In Jordan's capital, police separate loyalists, protesters

From Steven Jiang, CNN
Click to play
Jordanian police separate protesters
  • Government loyalists blocked from marching toward opposition rally
  • There appears to be a split in opposition ranks
  • Dozens were injured in fighting last week

(CNN) -- Police in Jordan's capital worked to separate pro- and anti-government demonstrators on Friday and avert the violence that erupted there last week.

As many as 1,000 officers have been deployed in Amman, one of the Arab capitals beset with tension in recent weeks.

So far, there has been no violence at the gatherings, expected after the Muslim Friday prayers

Officers in Amman blocked about three dozen government loyalists as they marched from the Grand Mosque toward Ras Al Ein Square, where opposition members gathered, CNN journalists at the scene said.

A CNN team saw about 200 opposition members at the square. Even though the number could grow, protest organizers said the turnout might be low because of a split in opposition ranks over demands.

The protesters were waving Jordanian flags and chanting slogans for a new constitution and dissolving the parliament.

Last Friday, loyalists and protesters clashed in a hail of rocks and swinging sticks, according to protest organizers and the government.

At least 62 people and 58 security force members were injured, the country's General Security Directorate said.

One man died of a heart attack in Friday's protests, officials said.

A couple of days later, Jordan's King Abdullah II made a call for national unity and reform.

"What matters to us in this stage is that our national unity must not be undermined," the king said Sunday while visiting the southern region of Petra.

"We are proceeding in earnest with the political reform process, and we have nothing to fear."

Part of complete coverage on
'Sons of Mubarak' in plea for respect
Pro-Mubarak supporters believe Egypt's former president is innocent of charges of corruption and killing protesters.
Timeline of the conflict in Libya
Fighting in Libya started with anti-government demonstrations in February and escalated into a nationwide civil war.
Who are these rebels?
After months of seeming stalemate, Libyan rebels declared they were moving in on Tripoli. But who are they?
Why NATO's Libya mission has shifted
Six months and more than 17,000 air sorties after it began, NATO's Operation Unified Protector in the skies over Libya grinds on.
Interactive map: Arab unrest
Click on countries in CNN's interactive map to see the roots of their unrest and where things stand today.
Send your videos, stories
Are you in the Middle East or North Africa? Send iReport your images. Don't do anything that could put you at risk.
Libya through Gadhafi's keyhole
Behind the official smiles for the cameras some people in Libya's capital are waiting for the rebels, reports CNN's Ivan Watson.
How Arab youth found its voice
Tunisia's Mohamed Bouazizi not only ignited a series of revolts but heralded the first appearance of Arab youth on the stage of modern history.