Jordan city hit by riots after double murder: MP
AFP, Sunday 2 Jun 2013
A resident says restaurants, shops and other businesses were closed


Businesses in Jordan's restive southern city of Maan closed on Sunday in an act of "civil disobedience" after overnight clashes with police over the murders of two residents, an MP and witness said.

"Civil disobedience in Maan is growing after the authorities failed to arrest the killers of two people," Maan MP Amjad al-Khattab told AFP, saying the killings took place five days ago.

Resident Abu Abdo Kateb said shops, restaurants and other businesses were closed.

"Everything is shut except for a bakery and a pharmacy," he said.

"People rioted and clashed with police overnight. I could hear gunshots. Some armed men tried to attack government buildings but police fired tear gas. There's a heavy security presence now."

Kateb said angry protesters torched three shops and the post office.

A police spokesman confirmed the incidents, and reported a "tense calm" in the city on Sunday, saying detectives were hunting for the murderers.

He refused to give further details.

Khattab said the unrest broke out after armed clashes in April between students at the King Hussein bin Talal University in Maan killed four people and wounded more than 25.

Although military prosecutors in May charged five men with rioting, possessing automatic weapons and "forming a gang" over the university violence, the clashes provoked a public outcry and royal fury.

"The university problem was followed by the killing of two people from Maan five days ago as well as a YouTube video that showed unknown people kicking the corpses of the two men," Khattab said.

Police have said they were still investigating the murder, and insist that the video footage was "fabricated".

"Somebody is trying to sow sedition in Maan. This is serious. The state needs to act fast and wisely," Khattab said.

"Other MPs and I have asked to meet Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur, but nothing has happened so far."

Maan has a bloody and rebellious past dating back to the turn of the past century, when it was the seat of the Great Arab Revolt that crushed Ottoman rule.

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