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26 suspects referred to court over Abdali market riots

By Muath Freij - Oct 12,2014 - Last updated at Oct 12,2014

AMMAN — Twenty-six suspects were referred to court over their involvement in riots in downtown Amman on Saturday night that caused the injury of Gendarmerie Department personnel, the Public Security Department (PSD) said Sunday. 

PSD Spokesperson Maj. Amer Sartawi said two gendarmes were shot and injured by rioters, adding that they are hospitalised and listed in fair condition.

Around 100 street vendors clashed with anti-riot personnel at Hashemite Square in downtown Amman on Saturday in protest against a decision to move the Abdali Friday market to Ras Al Ain.

Protesters threw Molotov cocktails at gendarmes, and security personnel responded with tear gas to disperse them.

The riots were a continuation of protests that began on Friday, when the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) began removing street stalls from Abdali to turn the area where the weekly second-hand market has been held into a parking lot.

Protesters were demanding that GAM go back on its decision to move the market and allow traders to return to Abdali, claiming that the move will harm their business.

But Basem Tarawneh, deputy director for districts and environment affairs at GAM, said the municipality is committed to its decision to move the market to Ras Al Ain, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

Tarawneh said GAM formed a committee to receive requests by vendors wishing to open a stall at the new venue, noting that the committee will distribute the stalls this week. 

The official reiterated that the decision to move the market was taken to alleviate traffic jams and safeguard public health in Abdali. 

The new location, which extends over eight dunums, includes sufficient parking spaces, according to GAM.

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