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Middle East Protests: Facts About Oman (PHOTOS)

First Posted: 02/28/11 06:25 PM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 07:35 PM ET

The deadly fervor shaking the Middle East has now spread to Oman, where demonstrators set fire to government buildings, a supermarket and cars as they demanded political reforms and the creation of new jobs.

Sultan Qaboos bin Said, the nation's dynastic ruler, has reportedly taken drastic steps to try to dampen his nation's unrest. On Saturday, he replaced six cabinet members and last week he boosted the minimum wage by more than 40 percent, the Associated Press is reporting.

Until this weekend, Oman had mostly been spared the unrest which has affected other Arab states in recent months. As the BBC is reporting, witnesses say two people were killed in the clashes, but the government has so far only confirmed one death.

View other facts and figures about Oman below. All captions courtesy of Reuters:

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Oman is the oldest independent state in the Arab world and has been ruled by the Al-Said family since 1744. It has longstanding military and political ties with the United States and Britain, but maintains an independent foreign policy.
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Filed by Curtis M. Wong  |