Jordan Hotel Bomb Kills at Least Five
An explosion from what was believed to be a bomb has killed at least five people at an Amman, Jordan Raddison hotel.
Explosion reported at Amman hotel (Reuters)
At least five people were killed and more than 12 others were wounded on Wednesday in a blast at an international hotel in the Jordanian capital, Amman, witnesses said. A police officer said it looked like the explosion was caused by a bomb but there was no immediate confirmation.
The explosion shook the Radisson hotel and several wounded people were seen in the lobby, witnesses said. The explosion ripped through a banqueting room where about 250 people were attending a wedding reception. The hotel is known to be popular with Israeli tourists.
Details are sketchy at this point. Given the location, terrorism is the obvious first guess.
Update (1501): There have now been three separate bombings in Jordan and the death toll is up to 12.
Explosions hit three hotels in the Jordanian capital Wednesday night, and at least 12 people were killed and 120 wounded.
The first blast occurred at about 8:50 p.m. at the luxury Grand Hyatt hotel, popular with tourists and diplomats, and completely shattered its stone entrance. Associated Press reporter Jamal Halaby, who was at the hotel, counted seven bodies being taken away and many more wounded being carried out on stretchers.
A few minutes later, police reported an explosion at the Radisson SAS Hotel a short distance away. Police said five people were killed and at least 20 were wounded in the blast at a wedding hall.
Another explosion was reported at the Days Inn Hotel, and police said there were casualties.
Jordan, a close U.S. ally, has arrested scores of Islamic militants for plotting to carry out attacks in the moderate Arab kingdom. It has also sentenced numerous militants to death in absentia, including the Jordanian-born leader of al-Qaida in
Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. In July, prosecutors indicted five Jordanians in an alleged conspiracy to attack intelligence agents, tourists and hotels in Amman. Al-Zarqawi has not been linked to the alleged plot.
Update (1503): In time it took to post the above, the death toll has increased to 18.
Update (1637): 23. At least the bombings stopped at three. They were, apparently, suicide bombers.
Suicide bombers attacked three hotels frequented by Westerners in the Jordanian capital Wednesday night, and at least 23 people were killed and more than 120 wounded in the near-simultaneous explosions, police said. Maj. Bashir al-Da’aja said officials believe all three blasts were carried out by suicide bombers. The explosions indicated the involvement of al-Qaida, which has launched coordinated attacks on high-profile, Western targets in the past, a police official said.
The three hotels have security guards hired from a private Jordanian firm stationed in the reception areas. Each of the hotels has one or two police cars guarding the buildings around the clock.
Amman has become a base for Westerners who fly in and out of Iraq for work. The main luxury hotels downtown are often full of American and British officials and contractors enjoying the relative quiet of the Jordanian capital. The hotels also have become a gathering spot for affluent Iraqis who have fled their country’s violence. Their presence Ã¢€” and money Ã¢€” has caused an economic boom, with high-priced prostitution also putting in an appearance.
The last major terror attack blamed on Islamic militants was the July 7 bombings of the London transit system that killed 56 people, including four bombers. The most recent major attack linked to al-Qaida was the Madrid subway bombings that killed 191 people on March 11, 2004.
Update (2039): Suicide Bombers Kill 57 at Jordan Hotels (AP)
Suicide bombers carried out nearly simultaneous attacks on three U.S.-based hotels in the Jordanian capital Wednesday night, killing at least 57 people and wounding 115 in what appeared to be an al-Qaida assault on an Arab kingdom with close ties to the United States.