November 09, 2005

Explosions in Amman, Jordan

(Amman, Jordan) Eighteen people are reported dead from explosions at three major Amman hotels about two hours ago. Suicide bombers are suspected. More than 120 injured.

From the JPost:

"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."

The explosions struck the Grand Hyatt, Radisson SAS and Days Inn hotels. A police officer at the Radisson site said it was caused "apparently by a bomb."

The hotels, in the commercial Jebel Amman district, are frequented by American and European businessmen and diplomats. The Radisson, in particular, is popular with Israeli tourists, and was a target of several foiled al-Qaida plots in the past.

Developing ...

[Update 1625 EST]

From Reuters, at least 23 people are now reported dead from three suspected suicide bombers in the three hotels.

The explosion at the Radisson Hotel occurred in a banquet room where 300 people were attending a wedding reception. The room was adjacent to a bar which security sources believe was the intended target.

The stone entrance to the Grand Hyatt was completely shattered. Hyatt General Manager Otto Steenbeek stated the explosion was in the bar area and caused many casualties.

The blasts came without warning or any hint from intelligence. Thus far, no claims of responsibility have been received.

Television news reports that suicide bombers are believed to have walked into the hotels. Videotape surveillance footage should be available. Similarities are being drawn to last month's bombings in Bali where suicide bombers walked into restaurants.

[Update 1640 EST]

Fox News reports that a Jordanian security force spokesman has confirmed that there are 53 dead. The explosions are believed to be the first organized simultaneous terrorist attacks in Jordan.

[Update 1700 EST]

From Lawhawk, it seems there may have been some warning that Jordan was a target for an imminent attack. Check out Hammorabi who posts an alert that Zarqawi has been planning an attack in Jordan. The source of the information is not clear.

[Update 1745 EST]

(via television newscasts) The Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister Marwan Muasher said there were two suicide bombers and a car bomb. The Hyatt and Radisson were attacked by suicide walk-ins, the Days Inn was attacked with a car bomb. The death toll has increased to 57.

The AP reports approximately 300 wounded. The borders of Jordan have been sealed and a search is underway for collaborators.

Jordan's King Abdullah blamed a "deviant and misled group" for the attacks. The Jordanian cabinet is in an emergency session.

Companion at Interested-Participant.

By at 02:34 PM | Comments |