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3 Chinese among 57 killed in Jordan hotel bombings
Updated: 2005-11-10 08:54

AMMAN, Jordan - 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.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed that three members of a Chinese military delegation, now visiting Jordan, were killed in one of the hotel bombings, and one more was injured. Th ministry said on its website that the delegation was from the China National Defense University.

The ministry advised Chinese nationals avoiding to make trips to Jordan due to the current situation, and urged Chinese nationals now in Jordan to avoid stays at public places and keep in touch with the Chinese embassy there.

Chinese President Hu Jintao, now on a state visit to Britain, strongly condemned Wednesday's suicide bombings in Amman, Jordan's capital, and expressed condolences to Jordan king.

In his telegraph to Jordan King Abdullah, Hu strongly condemned the terror attacks, and expressed China's firm stance against terrorism in any form, and China's willingness to work together with Jordan and internationalcommunity to fight against terrorism.

But a local radio report said at least five Chinese were killed in the blasts.

Suicide bombers attacked three hotels frequented by Westerners in the Jordanian capital Wednesday night, and at least 57 people were killed and more than 300 wounded in the near-simultaneous explosions, a top government official said.
Bodies of victims lay on ground outside the Days Inn hotel in central Amman November 9, 2005. At least 57 people were killed and scores wounded on Wednesday when three suspected suicide bombers blew themselves up in three hotels in Amman, a security source said. [Reuters]
The explosions hit the Grand Hyatt, Radisson SAS and Days Inn hotels just before 9 p.m. One of the blasts took place inside a wedding hall where 300 guests were celebrating joined by a man strapped with explosives who had infiltrated the crowd. Black smoke rose into the night, and wounded victims stumbled from the hotels.

"We thought it was fireworks for the wedding but I saw people falling to the ground," said Ahmed, a wedding guest at the five-star Radisson who did not give his surname. "I saw blood. There were people killed. It was ugly."

Jordan's deputy prime minister, Marwan Muasher, said there was no claim of responsibility but that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian-born leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, was a "prime suspect."

A U.S. counterterrorism official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, said the strong suspicion is that al-Zarqawi was involved because of his known animosity for Jordanian monarchy and the fact that it was a suicide attack, one of his hallmarks.
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