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Campus brawl leads to suspension of classes at Al al Bayt University

By Raed Omari - Nov 27,2014 - Last updated at Nov 27,2014

AMMAN — Al al Bayt University had to suspend classes on Thursday after a brawl took place on campus between students belonging to two major tribes.

Khaled Abu Shalfa, a member of the university’s security unit, said the administration ordered a suspension of classes on Thursday as reaching lecture halls was almost “impossible”.

Abu Shalfa added that angry students resorted to physical violence, throwing stones at each other, as well as buildings and cars.

“No one was injured,” he said, adding that police gathered at the gate of the university to prevent supporters of the students from entering the campus.

Abu Shalfa also refuted news reports claiming that guns were used in the brawl, emphasising that it was only a pistol firing blanks.

By Thursday afternoon, the situation at the university — located in Mafraq, some 80 kilometres northeast of Amman — was “calm”, according to Abu Shalfa. 

A study published earlier this year by the Jordanian Political Science Association revealed that 296 incidents of violence resulting in seven deaths were registered at public and private universities over the past four years.

On campus fights registered from 2010 to 2013 involved 3,999 students, and resulted in 31 severe, 57 moderate and 155 slight injuries, in addition to property damage, according to the study.

The fights also involved non-Jordanian students and led to 23 injuries among them, while 17 female students were injured over the past four years.

Weapons were used in 58 fights, while security forces intervened 43 times upon request of the universities, according to the study, which noted that classes were suspended 41 times — sometimes for a week — as a result of violence.

Mutah University in Karak registered the highest number of fights (55), while four of the seven deaths took place at Al Hussein Bin Talal University in the southern Governorate of Maan.

According to the study, four of the Kingdom’s universities — German-Jordanian University, the Jordan University of Science and Technology, Princess Sumaya University for Technology and NYIT — did not witness any violence over the four-year period.

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