3 Chinese among 57 killed in Jordan hotel bombings
Updated: 2005-11-10 08:54
An Associated Press reporter counted seven bodies being taken away and many
more wounded being carried out on stretchers.
A few minutes after that attack and a short distance away, police reported
the explosion at the wedding celebration, which took place in a special
reception hall on the ground floor of the Radisson. At least five people were
killed and 20 wounded.
The Radisson is popular with American and Israeli tourists and was a target
of several foiled al-Qaida plots, including a conspiracy to attack U.S. and
Israeli tourists during the kingdom's millennium celebrations. Israel's
ambassador to Jordan, Yaakov Hadas, told Israel TV from Amman there were no
reports of Israeli casualties.
Amin Omar, a concierge at the Radisson, said Jordanian security forces later
took over the hotel and that all foreign and local guests have been accounted
for and returned to their rooms. He had no details on how many casualties were
sustained in the blast.
"This is a terrible, terrible situation. The explosion took place during a
local Jordanian wedding and caused a lot of damage. Broken chairs, shattered
glass, thrown tables," Omar said. "Everything is still in a great fuss."
The third explosion, at the Days Inn, happened after a car packed with
explosives approached the hotel, Muasher said. He said the car could not cross a
protective barrier so it detonated outside. As a result, the casualties at the
Days Inn were not so extensive as at the other hotels, he said.
Muasher reported 57 killed and 115 wounded in the three bombings, with the
worst damage was at the Radisson SAS because the suicide bomber got inside the
wedding party of Jordanians. SAS is a partner of Radisson in Europe.
In addition to housing Westerners, Amman's hotels also have become a
gathering spot for affluent Iraqis who have fled their country's violence. Their
presence ¡ª and money ¡ª has caused an economic boom, with high-priced
prostitution also putting in an appearance.
The Grand Hyatt has 316 guest rooms as well as 50 luxury residential
apartments in the adjoining Hyatt Tower. The hotel, with a beige-and-cream
facade and a shiny gold revolving door, is located in the heart of Amman's
business and diplomatic district on Hussein Bin Ali Street.
The Radisson has 260 guest rooms. Its main entrance is covered by a white
portico with several dozen international flags lining the top.