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24-02-2012 - Gulfnews/By Sunil K. Vaidya

Security beefed up in Oman's Sohar as rumours spread

There seems to be a security alert in Sohar, ahead of the anniversary of the protests that turned violent on February 27, with forces taking positions at strategic points in this industrial port town 230-kms north to Muscat.

On Tuesday night social media network and micro blogging sites were full of speculations about trouble in the largest town in Batinah with pictures of a burning trucks posted on local web forum 'Sabla'.

"There's neither trouble so far, nor any rallies taken out so far," a Sohar resident told Gulf News on the condition of anonymity.

However, he added that the security has been beefed up in the town. About the pictures of a burning truck posted on social media forum, an activist said that the post could not be authenticated. "There are rumours about fire at a farm house but it could be an accident also," he said, hoping that there won't be any trouble this time. Tweeter, a micro blogging website, has a number of posting on situation in Sohar. Some have written about anti-riot police in town or headed towards the northern region that saw worst protests in the country, including fatalities in police action.

A blogger even fears that the strong presence of security personnel in town could incite youth in Sohar but hoped that is avoided at any cost. Currently around 29 activists are held in prison for their role in protests last year.


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