Omani Protesters Burn Buildings, Block Port
Unofficial death toll rises to 6
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2011 6:28 AM CST
Omani protesters sit near a burning hypermarket during a demonstration calling for jobs and reform in Oman.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The unofficial death toll in Oman rose to six over the weekend, as hundreds of demonstrators in Sohar blocked roads leading to a port and a refinery, reports Reuters. A supermarket was looted and burned, two government buildings were also set on fire, and protesters raided a police station to free prisoners—then burned that. "We want to see the benefit of our oil wealth distributed evenly to the population," yelled one protester. "We want to see a scale-down of expatriates in Oman so more jobs can be created for Omanis."

Graffiti around town read: "The people are hungry" and "No to oppression of the people." "There are no jobs, there's no freedom of opinion. The people are tired and people want money. People want to end corruption," said an unemployed man. Reuters notes that the government yesterday vowed to create 50,000 more jobs and dole out unemployment benefits of $390 a month. Click for more.