Jordan denies reports of attacks on King

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The Independent Online

King Abdullah II was met by either tossed bottles and stones, or a warm welcome, on a visit to Jordan's south yesterday, according to conflicting reports from government officials.

A security official said a crowd of youths flung objects at the monarch's motorcade in two incidents in the town of Tafila, 125 miles south of Amman, just a day after Abdullah bowed to popular demands for an elected prime minister. This official, insisting on anonymity because he is not authorised to discuss royal matters, said the King was unharmed.

Government spokesman Taher Edwan later called the report "totally baseless".

"There was no attack whatsoever with empty bottles and stones," he said. "What happened is that a group of young Jordanians thronged the monarch's motorcade to shake hands with him." He said when police "pushed them away, there was a lot of shoving".

It wasn't immediately possible to reconcile the two versions, and further details of any attack were not immediately available.

Abdullah was on a fact-finding trip to inspect infrastructure projects and hear his subjects' demands.