A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

"A despicable act of terrorism and an act of cowardice"

The Times: Al-Qaeda linked to bomb attacks on Jordan hotels---

SUICIDE bombers struck at three luxury hotels in Amman yesterday, killing at least 57 people in attacks that bore all the hallmarks of an al-Qaeda strike on one of Washington’s closest allies in the Middle East.
The Jordanian capital was thrown into panic by co- ordinated blasts at the Grand Hyatt, Radisson SAS and Days Inn hotels, all popular with Western visitors, businessmen and security contractors on their way to neighbouring Iraq.

Marwan Muasher, Jordan’s Deputy Prime Minister, said that most victims were Jordanians attending a wedding at the Radisson Hotel. A further 117 were injured.

Mr Muasher announced that Jordan was closing all its land borders in the wake of the largest attack on its soil. He said that two suicide bombers, with explosives strapped to their bodies, struck at the Radisson and Grand Hyatt hotels.

The third attack was apparently a car bomb. Mr Muasher said that a car bearing green tourist licence plates and laden with bombs tried to ram into the Days Inn but was thwarted by concrete bollards. Witnesses said that they saw dead bodies in the street — including three Asian men believed to be members of an official delegation.

“Anybody who walks into a wedding hall and blows himself up is not serving Jordan,” Mr Muasher said. “Jordan is a safe country and its security has safeguarded it. This is a despicable act of terrorism and an act of cowardice.”

The bride, Nadia al-Alami, and the groom, Ashraf Mohammad al-Akhras, were wounded, and their fathers killed in the blast. “I lost my father and my father-in-law and I saw many other dead,” Mr al-Akhras said. “This is a horrible crime.”

“We thought it was fireworks for the wedding, but I saw people falling to the ground,” said Ahmed, one of the 300 guests. “I saw blood. There were people killed. It was ugly.”