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Jordanians seethe over fuel price hike

Hundreds of Jordanians poured into the streets of several cities for a second day yesterday, burning tires and pelting riot police with stones to protest a government decision to lift fuel subsidies and raise prices, police said.
Tensions rose late Tuesday after the government announced it was raising prices for cooking and heating gas by 54 percent to reduce a massive budget deficit and secure a $2 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund.
Protesters also demanded the prime minister’s resignation as the price of a gas cylinder jumped from 6.50 Jordanian dinars ($9.18) to 10 dinars ($14.12).
Two police officials said protesters also burned tires to block main roads and pelted riot police with stones in at least nine cities across Jordan yesterday. The worst violence was in Naour, a city near Amman, where 500 angry youths torched a car and threw rocks at police and passers-by, the two officials said, insisting on anonymity because they are not allowed to make press statements.
Meanwhile, the US Embassy issued a warden message, advising Americans in Jordan to be vigilant, exercise caution and avoid potential flash point areas.

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