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Heavily-armed military vehicles guard Sohar

Complete calm returns to Sohar as armoured vehicles take over Globe Roundabout

Omani protesters demand jobs
Image Credit: AFP
Omani protesters demanding jobs and reform gather at the Sohar roundabout monument during a demonstration in Sohar on February 28, 2011.
Gulf News

Sohar: Calm has returned to this port town with over dozen armoured vehicles guarding the Globe Roundabout that had become an epicenter of protests since last Friday with people, mostly youth, demanding better wages, lower prices and government reforms among 45 demands, which they have sent to the country's ruler.

A spate of SMSes, in Arabic, were being sent randomly on Monday night urging people to refrain from getting violent. The SMS sent by citizens in Sohar explained that people of Sohar would not cause damage to the public and private property and if they have to they would protest peacefully.

A number of prominent citizens were even guarding some of the infrastructure in town. "We don't want violence, we want to protest peacefully for our legitimate demands and we would stay here (Globe roundabout) as long as we have to," Yusuf Al Badi, a protester told Gulf News on Monday night minutes before a section of the crowd tried to storm the nearby police station as teargas shells were lobbed to keep them at bay.

But today morning none of the protester was present at the roundabout as municipality workers had cleaned up the place that appeared nothing had happened.

But for the presence of heavily armed military vehicles, it was difficult to fathom that this roundabout was bursting at seams with anger of protesters, who wanted those responsible for firing on Sunday to be brought to trial.

Some of shops had also started opening for business with the assuring presence of the security men. The Indian School Sohar went ahead with the start of the CBSE 12th Standard board exams today as all the students reported on time.

"As a precaution we had even asked students living far to come and stay overnight somewhere closer to the institute so that they can come for the board examinations," a source at the school told Gulf News.

There was complete calm on Monday morning as well but residents had feared worst but today they seemed to be assured. "There were no security personal at the roundabout on Monday but with heavy security around the place, we can breathe a bit easy," a resident told Gulf News but preferred not to be named.

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