Last updated: 25 August, 2012

Two wounded as Jordan protest turns unruly

An exchange of fire between armed protesters and police during a demonstration in the restive Jordanian town of Maan left two people wounded, the official Petra news agency reported on Saturday.

Some 200 protesters, who had gathered on Friday evening to demand the release of two Jordanians held abroad, marched on the town’s security force headquarters where the firefight erupted, the news agency said.

Shots from the crowd seriously wounded a guard, drawing a return of fire which wounded one demonstrator, it added.

Jordanian internet sites said the march had been organised by Salafists to demand the release of fellow Islamist hardliners held in Iraq and Yemen.

The town, some 200 kilometres (125 miles) south of Amman, has seen disturbances by Islamists in the past.

It was also the scene of riots early last year, when cars and businesses were torched to protest the murder of three Jordanians in a labour dispute.