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Hundreds Gather to Mourn Jordanian Protester


Mourners carry the body of Khairi Saad, 55, who died in the anti-government protests, at the Islamic cemetery in Sahab, near Amman, in Jordan, March 27, 2011

Mourners carry the body of Khairi Saad, 55, who died in the anti-government protests, at the Islamic cemetery in Sahab, near Amman, in Jordan, March 27, 2011

Hundreds of people have attended a funeral in Jordan for the first person to die in a wave of protests calling for a change in the Jordanian government.

Those gathered at the funeral of Khairi Saad Sunday included Islamist leaders and other supporters of the demonstrations.

Saturday, Jordan's Islamist opposition and other protest groups called for Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit's ouster. Saturday, a day after Saad's death during violent demonstrations.

He was killed as Jordanian police used water cannon to disperse government loyalists and demonstrators attacking each other with stones in the capital, Amman.

There are conflicting reports as to how Saad died, but his family said he had been beaten by security forces. Government officials maintain he died of heart failure.

Jordan's Islamic Action Front, the political branch of the Muslim Brotherhood has demanded the government's immediate resignation, saying any government that kills its own people has lost its legitimacy.

Friday's clashes erupted after several hundred supporters of King Abdullah began hurling rocks at a larger group of opposition protesters.

Prime Minister Bakhit blamed the unrest on the Muslim Brotherhood, whom he accuses of taking orders from Islamic groups in Egypt and Syria.

Earlier this month, several hundred Jordanians rallied for sweeping economic and political reforms.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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