- The Washington Times - Friday, March 28, 2003

AMMAN, Jordan, March 28 (UPI) — Hundreds of Muslim worshippers took to the streets of the Jordanian capital, Amman, after Friday prayers, vowing solidarity with Iraq.

An estimated 2,000 protesters poured out of al-Kaloti mosque near the Israeli Embassy, shouting anti-U.S. and anti-Israel slogans and calling for an immediate halt of military operations in Iraq.

The demonstrators expressed support for Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, slamming as traitors Arab Gulf countries hosting U.S. and British troops.

Security forces and riot police prevented demonstrators from marching on the nearby Israeli Embassy, forcing them back into the mosque. The protest was staged spontaneously without being licensed in advance, as requested by law.

Jordanian authorities took stringent security measures near mosques in several parts of the country Friday, fearing spontaneous protests after the weekly Friday prayers.

Security forces were also deployed heavily around Palestinian refugee camps near Amman.

Also Friday, another pro-Iraq demonstration was staged in central Amman near the main al-Husseini mosque. Security forces did not interfere to disperse protesters who brandished Iraqi flags and shouted slogans in support of Iraq.


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