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Jordanians Take to The Streets To Protest Terrorism


Jordanians reacted with shock, anger and defiance Thursday to terrorist attacks on Wednesday that left 56 people dead and more than one-hundred others wounded.

Thousands of Jordanians marched through the streets of the capital on Thursday shouting defiance and anger at the attacks that struck at the heart of the capital on Wednesday.

There was little sign of physical destruction at the three hotels where the attacks took place. A heavy police presence kept onlookers well away. Subdued crowds stood in the parking lots of the buildings, waiting to join marchers as they walked through the city.

The Amman demonstrations were organized by Jordan's 14 professional groups and trade unions. Among the participants
were Islamic groups and leftist political organizations, encompassing a wide range Jordanians from many walks of life.

The attacks Wednesday night struck at the heart of upscale Amman, and many in that community such as this young banker,
Khalil, who declined to give his last name voiced defiance.

/// KHALIL ACTUALITY ///

"If you are hearing what they are saying they are all saying we are not afraid. This is not the beginning of a new phase, this is
just an act of aggression on Jordan that will not be repeated."

/// END ACTUALITY ///

Jordanian authorities have pledged to hunt down the members of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's "al-Qaida in Iraq" terrorist
organization, which has claimed responsibility for the attacks. Authorities say a number of suspects have been rounded up,
but at a press conference Thursday, Jordan's Deputy Prime Minister, Marwan Muasher declined to give details about the
investigation.

/// MUASHER ACTUALITY ///

"I will not talk in details about arrests so far. There are a number of leads but it would not be useful for me to comment on
them." The investigation is still ongoing, and it would not be wise for me to comment on details. I will any further at this
time."

/// END ACTUALITY ///

In Washington, President Bush phoned King Abdullah to extend his condolences and offer assistance and support against
terrorists.

More than 30 Jordanians were killed in the attacks, and some like like Hala Odat, said the bombings had caused some fear,
but she said the throngs of people crowding the streets on Thursday had made people feel stronger.

/// ODAT ACTUALITY ///

"I am not sure about everyone. There is a bit of fear. But I think people are getting stronger since we are all uniting into a
family now. It is going to be easier when we are together."

/// END ACTUALITY ///

Jordanians also marched in other cities around the country and there was a heavy police and army presence on major
highways across the country. (Signed)

NEB/JLT/MEM/RH

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