AMMAN - Riots that broke out in Jordan after the government raised fuel prices left one protester dead on Thursday, the first fatality of violence that has spread to several impoverished towns in the kingdom, witnesses and security sources said.
Hundreds took to the streets on Wednesday after the government decided to raise gasoline, cooking gas and heating fuel prices. They blocked roads, set government buildings alight and vandalized shops in the towns of Maan, Tafila and Karak.
The protestor was killed and scores were injured during an attack on a police station in the country's second-largest city of Irbid, the witnesses said.
Jordanians have held occasional protests inspired by the Arab Spring revolts, demanding democratic reforms and curbs on corruption. But the gatherings have been peaceful and the security forces did not use weapons.
Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour said lifting hefty subsidies that cost at least $2 billion annually was unavoidable to avert economic collapse caused by a ballooning budget deficit.
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