Jordan Removes Security Chiefs After Abuse Claims Stir Protests

Jordan’s interior minister resigned and top police officials were retired after allegations of abuses by security forces during a campaign to blunt unrest in a southern city.

Interior Minister Hussein al-Majali quit after failing to ensure coordination between branches of the security forces and protect the “security of citizens and stability” of the nation, according to a statement by Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour carried by state-run news agency Petra on Monday.

Two senior police officials, including police chief Tawfik al-Tawabla, were sent into retirement as “it was time for change,” state television reported.

Security forces had stepped up operations in the city of Maan, where protests in support of Islamic State erupted last year. Locals accused security agencies of storming homes, arbitrary detentions and indiscriminate use of force. Police failed to locate 19 suspects they said were wanted for attacks on officers and other acts of violence.

The shakeup at the top of the security forces “was a necessary step as people were unsatisfied,” Raed Omari, an Amman-based political analyst, said in an interview.

People in Maan celebrated news of al-Majali’s resignation, distributing sweets on city streets.

After Islamic State took the Iraqi city of Mosul in June, residents in Maan flew the jihadist movement’s black flag from rooftops, sprayed graffiti hailing the militants and staged demonstrations before the government cracked down.

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