The leader of Oman has fired three of his top ministers as anti-government protests intensify in the kingdom.
The most recent shakeup – which includes the head of the Palace Office which supervises state security -- follows the removal of six other cabinet ministers last week by Sultan Qaboos bin Said.
It is unclear if these steps will appease protesters who are demanding an investigation into the death of one of their ranks by government troops.
Demonstrators are also agitating for democratic reforms, an end to official and more jobs.
Oman, a key strategic ally of the U.K. and U.S. has co-guardianship (with Iran) over the Strait of Hormuz waterway, through with 40 percent of global oil tankers pass through.
Protests in Oman have spread to an important oil region of Haima, where oil workers have staged a sit-in calling for more government investment in the area, according to the Associated Press.
However the unrest in the sultanate has been far milder than witnessed in other parts of the Arab world. There have been no signs that protesters want to overthrow the regime.
“We are making this to support the Sultan, not to face against the Sultan. We are just facing the corruption here, said a protester in the industrial city of Sohar, according to media reports.
Qaboos has been in power for 41 years after he gained power in a palace coup. He modernized the country by measures including improved infrastructure, increased health care and expanding women’s rights and also ended centuries of isolation from the outside world.
As a gesture to protesters, he recently promised the creation of 50,000 new civil service jobs.