AMMAN - Around 2,000 people called for the removal Jordan's King Abdullah at a rally in downtown Amman on Friday in protest at fuel price hikes, in a marked escalation of street anger in the third day of demonstrations in the Western-backed kingdom.

"Go down Abdullah, go down," the protesters chanted as police, some in riot gear, largely stayed away from crowd, near the main Husseini Mosque.

The crowed also chanted "The people want the downfall of the regime", the rallying cry of the Arab Spring uprisings that have shaken the Middle East and toppled leaders in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen.

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