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Riots over arrests kill one, injure six in Ajloun

Unrest renewed after news of death from bullet from ‘unknown source’

By Rana Husseini - Feb 16,2019 - Last updated at Feb 16,2019

This photo circulated on social media purportedly shows fires blocking a street in Anjara town of Ajloun Governorate, 70km northwest of Amman, during riots that broke out over the weekend (Social media photo)

AMMAN — One person was killed and six others, including four police officers, were injured during riots in Ajloun Governorate over the weekend, official sources said.

The riots, which began in Anjara, broke out after a police patrol arrested two men who failed to provide identification documents when they were pulled over for a routine traffic stop on Friday, Police Spokesperson Lt. Col. Amer Sartawi said.

“The two men resisted arrest and called their relatives who rushed to help them,” Sartawi told The Jordan Times.

The group of men “then blocked the road with rocks, which prompted our forces to respond with tear gas”, Sartawi added.

As a result of this altercation, Sartawi maintained, four police officers were injured and “a police patrol vehicle was sabotaged”.

The two men were escorted to the police station, Sartawi added, which prompted a group of men “to block the main road, throw rocks at passing vehicles and fire live rounds at police forces from a nearby forest”.

“We were then notified that two civilians were injured and were rushed to a hospital, where one was declared dead on arrival as a result of a bullet wound from an unknown source, while the second was being treated,” according to Sartawi.

Following news of the death, rioting resumed, resulting in attacks on government property and vehicles, while a handful of buildings were set on fire, according to a statement by the Public Security Department (PSD). 

Meanwhile, the director of the Greater Ajloun Municipality, Hassan Zghoul, told The Jordan Times that dignitaries and deputies from the area have been meeting all day on Saturday to contain the situation.

“Unfortunately things got out of hand because of the PSD statement that said the person who died was hit by a bullet from an unknown source,” Zghoul told The Jordan Times.

The victim’s family is extremely angry, Zghoul added, saying that “they are waiting for autopsy results to indicate the source of the bullet that killed their son”.

“We are also meeting with dignitaries and deputies in the area to try to contain the situation,” Zghoul added.

Police said investigations are ongoing into the incident.

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