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Omanis continue anti-govt. protests

Posted by on February 28, 2011 0 Comment

Omani demonstrators continue their anti-government protests on the streets of the tiny Persian Gulf country as the death toll of Sunday rallies reaches six.

Demanding better living condition and political reform, the protesters took to streets on Monday and blocked roads in the kingdom’s largest industrial city of Sohar, 200 km (125 miles) northwest of the capital, Muscat, AFP reported.

The fresh protest came a day after government forces opened fire on hundreds of anti-government demonstrators in the city, killing six people and wounding several others.

A security official said the Sunday confrontation had taken place in response to the protesters’ attempt “to storm a police station.”

This is the third straight day of demonstrations in Sohar. Oman’s second largest city, Salalah, has also been hit by protests.

Demonstrators are furious about “rampant corruption and poor economic conditions” in the sultanate.

Omani ruler Sultan Qaboos on Sunday changed six ministers in his cabinet and raised stipends for university students in an apparent attempt to prevent further protests in the tiny Persian Gulf sultanate.

Blocking cars and shoppers at a mall in Sohar on Saturday, protesters shouted: “We want long-term corrupt ministers to go!” “We want the Shura Council to have legislative powers!” “We want jobs!” and “We want democracy!”

The 84-member Shura Council is only advisory and has no legislative powers. Activities of political parties are also banned in the kingdom.

The demonstrations come amid popular pro-democracy protests in Jordan, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

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