Protesters set a supermarket ablaze and gathered in several sites in a seaside town in Oman on Monday in a third consecutive day of unrest that has included deadly clashes in the strategic Gulf nation.
Security forces sealed off main roads to Sohar, about 200 km northwest of the capital of Muscat, in attempts to isolate the protesters and keep crowds from swelling. An official at the state-run Oman News Agency said one person has been confirmed dead on Sunday after police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse hundreds of demonstrators who took to the streets in Sohar. Witnesses said a supermarket was set on fire on Monday and several hundred protesters “mostly young men” had gathered in the town's main roundabout, demanding higher salaries, jobs for the unemployed youth and changes of some government ministers.
Oman shares control with Iran over the Strait of Hormuz, the route for about 40 per cent of the world's oil tanker traffic. Oman's ruler, Sultan Qaboos bin Said, is moving quickly to try to offer reforms to quell the demands that include more jobs and a greater public voice in government. — AP