In Oman, protesters demanding political reform clashed with police on Sunday. Two people died.
About 1,000 protesters clashed with police in Sohar, in the north of the country, 200 kilometers from the capital city, Muscat. The demonstrators were protesting about unemployment levels and calling for measures against corruption.
Police fired teargas and rubber bullets. Reuters says 2 protesters were killed. Government buildings and police stations were set on fire.
Oman has been governed by King Qaboos bin Said for more than 40 years. It is next to the Straits of Hormuz, a key junction of sea lanes.
Oman supplies about 10 percent of Japan's crude oil.
Demonstrations were thought to be unlikely in rich Oman, because the government provides abundant support for people's livelihoods and the gap between rich and poor is small.
Anti-government protests have been called for in neighboring Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil producer. There's been rising concern over these developments in Japan, which gets most of its oil from the Persian Gulf.
Monday, February 28, 2011 06:49 +0900 (JST)