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Oman protests continue for a 4th day

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Demonstrators in Oman's second city close routes to the port and industrial area
  • They demand more freedom, a new constitution and prosecution of security officials
  • The sultan has ordered the hiring of 50,000 people after weekend protests
  • Oman

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(CNN) -- Protesters hit the streets in Oman Tuesday, the fourth day of demonstrations, according to the Oman News Agency.

On Monday, anti-government protesters in the key port city of Sohar refused to end demonstrations despite orders from the sultan to hire 50,000 people and pay a stipend to people who are out of work, sources in the Gulf state told CNN.

On Tuesday, protesters again gathered in Sohar in a peaceful protest, the news agency reported.

Demonstrators in Sohar have blocked routes to the port and the industrial zone, prompting port staff to leave work, two sources in the town said.

Protesters demands include greater freedom of expression, higher salaries, a clampdown on government corruption, a new constitution, and the prosecution of security officials whose actions led to the death of demonstrators.

The National Human Rights Commission of Oman, a group that was created by the sultan, said one person was killed during protests Monday.

Oman is not a major oil producer, but a significant share of the world's oil shipping passes through the Strait of Hormuz, along the Omani coast.

Witnesses did not report any clashes between security and the protesters, saying the two sides were keeping apart.

There were reports of attacks on property over the weekend, but on Monday the protesters organized committees to protect buildings and handle traffic, CNN's sources said.

Fifteen young protesters submitted their demands in writing to officials Monday, with promises that the demands would passed to the sultan.

Sultan Qaboos bin Said ordered the hiring of 50,000 citizens in the aftermath of weekend protests that left at least one person dead and 11 others injured, state-run media reported Sunday.

The ruler also issued royal orders saying job-seekers who register with the Ministry of Manpower will be paid 150 rials (about U.S. $390) per month until they find jobs, according to the Oman News Agency.

After reports of multiple deaths on Sunday, Ahmed Al Saidi, the minister of health, said there had only been one death.

CNN's Caroline Faraj, Jenifer Fenton and Victoria Brown contributed to this report.

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