Middle East

Oman protests see police fire tear gas in flashpoint city

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Police in Oman fired tear gas Wednesday at demonstrators in a flashpoint city amid unrest over the sultanate’s floundering economy and mass layoffs.

It wasn’t immediately clear what sparked the police action in Sohar, a city some 200 kilometers (125 miles) northwest of the capital, Muscat. Demonstrators had marched and collected around an overpass that has been a rallying point.

Activists posted videos online showing some demonstrators responding by throwing rocks. The Royal Oman Police, which made arrests at the start of the protests, has not commented at all on the demonstrations.

Sohar similarly saw unrest during the 2011 Arab Spring.

Demonstrations have struck in recent days across Oman, a nation on the eastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula. Oman already faced economic trouble with tens of billions of dollars of outstanding debts and trouble finding enough work for its young people. Then came the coronavirus pandemic and repeated lockdowns that followed, further depressing growth in this nation of 4.5 million people.


IMAGE: People walk near riot police cars in Sohar, Oman, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. 

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