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Middle east

Police stabbed at violent Salafist protest

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-04-15

Dozens of police were injured, including six who were stabbed, as they broke up a protest by Islamist Salafists in the northern Jordanian city of Zarqa Friday, according to a police spokesman.

AFP - Police on Friday fired tear gas to disperse a demonstration by Islamist Salafists in the northern city of Zarqa after six policemen were stabbed and another 34 were also injured, spokesman Mohammad Khatib told AFP.

"Forty policemen were injured, including six stabbed as they tried to disperse a demonstration by Islamist Salafists in Zarqa," Khatib said.

"The six policemen are in serious condition."

He said police "had to fire tear gas after a group of Islamist Salafists attacked some citizens following their demonstration in Zarqa, accusing them of being atheists."

The Salafists have been demonstrating over the past few weeks to demand the release of 90 Islamist prisoners, including Abu Mohammed al-Maqdessi, the one-time mentor of slain Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Zarqawi, who hailed from Zarqa, was killed in a US air strike northeast of Baghdad in 2006.

The Islamists have also called for the release of Mohammad Shalabi, better known as Abu Sayyaf, who is in prison after being convicted on terrorism charges following riots in the restive southern city of Maan in 2002.

Salafists espouse an austere form of Sunni Islam that seeks a return to practices that were common in the early days of the faith.

Date created : 2011-04-15

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