- No Truth To Report Of Israeli Evacuations Before Bombs
- Original story...
- Scores Dead In Three
Amman Hotel Bombings
Israelis Evacuated Before Attack
- By Yoav Stern and Zohar Blumenkrantz
Ha'aretz Daily - Israel
Nov. 10, 2005
- Bombs rocked three hotels in Amman late last night, killing
at least 57 people and wounding more than 115 in apparent suicide attacks.
One of the hotels is known to be popular with Israeli tourists.
- "There were three terrorist attacks on the Grand
Hyatt, Radisson SAS and Days Inn hotels, and it is believed that the blasts
were suicide bombings," police spokesman Major Bashir al-Da'aja told
The Associated Press. He declined to elaborate.
- There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the
- A police official said the attacks were simultaneous
and hit minutes before 9 P.M. in two districts in the Jordanian capital,
including the commercial area of Jebel Amman and Al-Rabiyeh, which houses
the Israeli Embassy.
- A number of Israelis staying yesterday at the Radisson
SAS were evacuated before the bombing by Jordanian security forces, apparently
due to a specific security alert. They were escorted back to Israel by
- The Foreign Ministry stated yesterday that no Israeli
tourists are known to have been injured in the blasts. Representatives
of Israel's embassy in Amman were in contact with local authorities to
examine any report of injured Israelis, but none were received. There are
often a number of Israeli businessman and tourists in Amman, including
in the hotels hit yesterday.
- Israel's counter-terror headquarters yesterday recommended
Israeli citizens not travel in Jordan. Travel recommendations regarding
Jordan were tightened a few months ago, but many Israelis still visit the
country. Many also visit other regions such as the Jordanian Arava and
the ancient city of Petra.
- The first bomber, at 8:50 P.M. local time, struck the
Grand Hyatt, completely shattering the stone entrance. An AP reporter saw
at least seven bodies removed from the hotel and many more wounded carried
out on stretchers.
- CNN reported an eyewitness saying the Jordanian prime
minister's car was at the Grand Hyatt at the time of the blast.
- Police said a second explosion hit the nearby Radisson
SAS hotel, where about 250 people were attending a wedding reception. At
least five were killed and at least 20 wounded in that blast, believed
to have been caused by a bomb placed in a false ceiling, police sources
at the scene told Reuters.
- The Radisson, in particular, is popular with Israeli
tourists and was a target of several foiled Al-Qaida plots in the past.
- Police also reported a third explosion at the Days Inn
Hotel in Amman. There were also casualties at that hotel.
- "The attacks carry the trademark of Al-Qaida,"
one police official said on condition of anonymity in line with police
regulations. "However, it is not certain. We are investigating."
- Ayman al-Safadi, editor of Jordan's Al-Ghad newspaper,
told the Al-Arabiya satellite network that it was a "terrorist operation."
- "Finally, the terrorists succeeded in breaking the
security in Jordan," he said, referring to past success in foiling
many terror plots.
- Jordan's King Abdullah II condemned the attack, saying,
"Justice will pursue the criminals" behind the Amman suicide
attacks, CNN reported. Abdullah, who was on an official visit to Kazakhstan,
cut short his trip and was returning home last night.
- The Grand Hyatt and Radisson SAS hotels, in the commercial
Jebel Amman district, are located about one kilometer apart and are frequented
by American and European businessmen and diplomats. The Days Inn is located
three kilometers away.
- An American businessman who was at the Grand Hyatt when
the explosion occurred said a "bomb that went off in the lobby."
He declined to identify himself.
- "It was a miracle that we made it out with a scratch,"
said a British guest at the Grand Hyatt.
- "We thought it was fireworks for the wedding but
I saw people falling to the ground," said Ahmed, a wedding guest at
- Radisson who did not give his surname. "I saw blood.
There were people killed. It was ugly."
- Jordan, a key ally of both the United States and Israel,
had largely escaped the terror attacks that have hit other parts of the
Middle East, and its sleepy capital, Amman, is viewed as a haven of stability
in the region.
- But Jordan has not been entirely immune: On Aug. 19,
militants fired three Katyusha rockets at a U.S. Navy ship docked at the
Red Sea resort of Aqaba, narrowly missing it and killing a Jordanian soldier.
- Jordanian officials blamed that attack on Al-Qaida in
Iraq, and there have been growing worries that the violence in Iraq could
spill over into Jordan, where many Iraqi exiles have taken refuge from