NOVDECJAN
25
201020112013
245 captures
02 Dec 2011 - 05 Feb 2021
About this capture
Middle East
Deaths in Oman protests
At least two people killed in industrial town of Sohar as police clash with anti-government demonstrators.
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2011 14:41 GMT
Tweet
Email
Print
Share
Feedback
Oman has seen demonstrations, but protesters have emphasised their loyalty to Sultan Qaboos [Reuters]
At least two people have been killed in an industrial town in the northeast of Oman, after police fired rubber-coated bullets at anti-government protesters.
The military moved in to secure an area in the town of Sohar on Sunday where about 2,000 demonstrators had gathered for a second day to demand political reforms, according to witnesses reported by the Reuters news agency.
"Two were killed after being shot with rubber bullets as protesters attempted to storm a police station," a security official said, requesting anonymity.
State news agency ONA confirmed that there had been casualties in Sohar, saying that police and anti-riot forces had clashed with demonstrators.
"Police and anti-riot squads confronted this group of wreckers in a bid to protect people and their properties, which caused casualties," it said.
Concessions
Witnesses said a police station and a government building were set on fire and that a nearby supermarket was looted.
Helicopters could be heard overhead and later reports said that many protesters moved out towards the entrance to Sohar's industrial sea port.
The protests in Sohar, 200km northwest of Muscat, prompted Oman's leader, Sultan Qaboos bin Said, to introduce swift appeasing measures - giving orders for the provision of 50,000 jobs and unemployment benefits worth nearly US$400 a month.
A committee will also be established to examine bestowing some legislative powers on the 84-member Shura council, an elected body which currently acts in a purely advisory capacity in the absolute monarchy, where political parties are banned.
Rising living costs
Basma al-Rajhi, an Omani political activist, told Al Jazeera that she had heard reports that police had tried to block the protests leading to "clashes" with a number of young protesters.
The protests in Oman come amid rising political tensions in the Middle East  and North Africa, with uprisings and protests in Bahrain, Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya.
Al-Rajhi, who was taking part in a sit-in in Muscat, the capital, said: "Omanis are calling for [the government to] combat corruption and fight the rising cost of living, in addition to many other issues, [such as] raising salaries and [greater] media freedoms."
She said that protesters had not been satisfied with government decrees, announced earlier this week, aimed at tackling these issues.
Protests also took place in the southern town of Salalah where a small number of demonstrators have camped out since Friday near the office of a provincial governor.
'Tranquil country'
Sultan Qaboos, who has ruled Oman for the past 40 years, had tried to ease tensions by reshuffling his cabinet on Saturday, a week after a small protest in the capital Muscat.
The demonstrators in Oman, as with some of the protests in other parts of the region, have emphasised their loyalty to their ruler, whole voicing their dissatisfaction with his officials.
Jackie Spinner, a journalist who was in Sohar at the time of the protests, said that it was unusual for Oman to be the scene of demonstrations.
"It's a very sedate, very tranquil country," she said,
"Most of the Omanis that I've talked to have said they haven't seen anything like this in the last four decades ... they have not seen this level of anger, or any widespread demonstrations against the government, in the past 40 years."
Qaboos deposed his father in a 1970 palace coup to end the country's isolation and use its oil revenue for modernisation.
He appoints the cabinet, but in 1992 introduced the elected advisory Shura Council.
Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies

Email Article
Print Article
Share Article
Send Feedback
Tweet
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation

Featured on Al Jazeera
The decline of labour unions in the US
Labour unions are under fire across the US, but do they have enough vitality to fight back?

Infographic: US ends Iraq war chapter
A deeper look at Iraq's ethnic composition, military bases, private contractors, casualties and oil fields.

Young Kim is in the house
The old Kim is gone and the new Kim is in, but not much will change in the land of the Kim family dynasty.

Mohamad at Eton
We follow one boy's journey from a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon to the UK's most prestigious public school.

Top News
Nigeria churches hit by blasts
Sudan army 'kills' Darfur rebel leader
Suicide attack strikes Afghanistan funeral
Syrian activists denounce 'siege' of Homs
Pope calls for peace in Middle East
Middle East
Syrian activists denounce 'siege' of Homs
Yemen forces attack 'March for Life'
Iran begins naval drills in Strait of Hormuz
Activist blogger freed in Egypt
Iraqi VP refuses to face court in Baghdad
What's Hot
Viewed
Emailed
7 Days
Nigeria churches hit by blasts
Thousands rally for Pakistan's Imran Khan
The real 'invented' people
Who is behind the Damascus blasts?
In Pictures: Christmas in the Middle East
After Kim Jong-il
Mohamad at Eton
State of Denial
Sudan army 'kills' Darfur rebel leader
Protecting Christmas, with stinger missiles?
{Title}
Syria Uprising
Syrian security forces continue violent crackdown on anti-government protests despite sanctions.
  
More Opinion
After Kim Jong-il
Christopher R Hill
Protecting Christmas, with stinger missiles?
Cliff Schecter
The real 'invented' people
MJ Rosenberg
North Korea�s unstable stability
Malcolm Cook
The making of the American 99%
Barbara Ehrenreich and John Ehrenreich
The second death of politics
Michael Marder
The new international economic disorder
Mohamed A El-Erian
The eagle, the bear and the dragon
Pepe Escobar
Cyber Cold War rhetoric haunts the US and China
Graham Webster
Creative resistance challenges Syria's regime
Donatella Della Ratta
Myanmar's monks remain a political force
Francis Wade
Bleak outlook for former FBI agent held in Iran
Eddie Walsh
In the West Bank, a horror story
Yousef Munayyer
Avoiding a Congolese tragedy
Jason K. Stearns
Join Our Mailing List
Email Address

Enter Zip Code
Go

NewsIn DepthProgrammesVideoBlogsBusinessWeatherSportWatch Live
AfricaAmericasAsia-PacificCentral & South AsiaEuropeMiddle East