Clashes renew in Maan over Hussein University violence

01-05-2013 03:50 PM

Ammon News - AMMONNEWS - Several towns in the southern governorate of Maan witnessed renewed clashes between residents and security forces as local young men blocked the main desert highway again on Wednesday on the backof the deadly violence in Al Hussein University on Monday.

Local young men blocked the main desert highway connecting the southern governorate of Maan, about 220 kilometers south of Amman, stopping passing vehicles, searching them and asking drivers and passengers for their IDs in an effort to search for opponents from a rival tribe.

Thousands of young men, mostly tribal relatives of two young men who died in the clashes at Al Hussein bin Talal University on Monday, took to the streets and attempted to raid the security precinct in the town of Al Hussainiyah in Maan governorate.

On Wednesday, police blocked the Main highway leading into Maan. Local tribal leaders told Ammon News that the situation may escalate in the evening hours, and called on both the young men and the government to work to end the strife that afflicted the southern governorate this week.

A security source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Ammon News that the southern towns of Al Hussainiyah and Muhamadiyyah witnessed excessive firing from automatic weapons on Wednesday, shooting at security and gendarmerie forces.

The source warned that the situation in the southern governorate is "difficult and very sensitive," noting that over 100 armed young men are blocking the main roads and setting up search points.

A police officer was reportedly shot in Al Husseiniyah on Tuesday, and was rushed to Prince Zaid bin al-Hussein military hospital for treatment.

Four people were killed on Monday and dozens of others were injured in armed clashes that erupted between students at Al Hussein bin Talal University in Maan during an "open day" that the university held to celebrate the anniversary of its founding.

Clashes students were supplied with arms from relatives from outside the campus, police said. One university student, an employee, a visiting young high school student, and a police officer (who is also a student on campus) died of gunshot wounds.

The university suspended classes until Sunday.

Police arrested over 22 people in connection with the violence, many of whom were found in possession of weapons and have criminal records, Minister of Interior Hussein Majali said on Monday.

Monday's incident comes in part of alarming and escalating occurrences of university violence that has afflicted local campuses in the past couple of years. Last month, one student was killed and dozens wounded in clashes that erupted at Mu'tah University in Karak over student election results. Other universities witness periodic brawls and clashes between students despite heightened security measures on campuses.

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