4 killed, over 30 injured in Hussein University Clashes

[29-04-2013 07:22 PM]

Ammon News - * University suspends classes for remainder of the week

AMMONNEWS - Four people died and over 30 were injured on Monday in clashes that erupted between students at Al Hussein Bin Talal University in the southern governorate of Ma'an.

Police and anti-riot gendarmerie forces intervened to restore order in the university campus, vacating the campus from all students and employees.

In details of the incident, an "open day" to celebrate the anniversary of the University's founding on Monday at Al Hussein bin Talal University in Ma'an, 220 kilometers south of Amman, turned bloody as students from two different groups clashed.

A university employee, Dr. Mahmoud al-Bawab, and a student, Mohammad Rkeibat, were shot in the incident and were rushed to the hospital, but both were later pronounced dead after succumbing to their gunshot wounds.

Later on Monday, 15-year old Anas Sha'er, a high school student who was visiting the university with a group from his school, was pronounced dead. Sha'er was reportedly struck by a bullet during the clashes and was rushed to Al Bashir state-run hospital in Amman but died of complications from his wounds Monday evening. A police officer present on campus reportedly died as well after being struck by a bullet.

Gendarmerie forces used tear gas to disperse the scuffling students, but as the clashes intensified, security forces worked to vacate all students and university personnel from campus.

Over 22 people were arrested as of Monday evening for suspected involvement in the clashes, Minister of Interior Hussein Majali announced.

Clashing students used fire arms, including automatic weapons, and knives in the brawl.

The University administration decided to suspend all classes for the remainder of the week, Ammon News learned.

The clashes continued in the city of Ma'an, with local residents using fire arms and live ammunition to attack gendarmerie forces that cordoned off the campus, police said.

The Public Security Department (PSD) said later that the employee was killed after receiving fatal gunshot wounds, another person remains in a critical condition after sustaining gunshot wounds as well.

Meanwhile, the Civil Defense Department (CDD) said that emergency and rescue crews administered first aid to injured students and rushed 18 of the injured to the Queen Rania Hospital in Wadi Musa, and the Ma'an state-run hospital.

Fire Department cadres were able to contain several fires that were ignited during the clashes, including two vehicles that were set ablaze in acts of vandalism.

Observers have been warning of an increasing wave of university violence. Monday's incident comes less than a month after the Higher Education Council suspended classes at Mu'tah University in Karak governorate over riots and acts of violence and vandalism that erupted over student election results. One student, a fourth year engineering student, died during the clashes and several others were injured.

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