Arrests after Amman killing of Iraqi nuclear engineer

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The Independent Online
AMMAN - Jordanian police have arrested two men suspected of involvement in the assassination of an Iraqi nuclear engineer in Amman, security sources said yesterday.

Moayyad Hassan Naji al-Janabi, 35, in Amman on holiday from his job at Iraq's Ministry of Military Industrialisation, was a former employee of Iraq's Atomic Energy Commission. He was shot in the head on Monday as he was walking with his wife and two children to pick up visas for Libya, where he had accepted work as a teacher. The gunman and a companion fled after the killing.

'Police told us early today (Tuesday) that the criminals were seized but they did not tell us who was behind it,' said a cousin of Janabi's wife. Asea Ahmed al- Janabi said police, acting on a tip from the family, had arrested one of the men - an Iraqi taxi driver who knew them from Baghdad - late on Monday as he tried to return to Iraq. She said the driver had telephoned Janabi's wife, Wafa, an hour before the murder telling her that he had arrived from Baghdad with dollars 200 ( pounds 125) for them from her brother.

Relatives said the family had been warned they might be in danger after Janabi failed to return to his job when his vacation ended a week ago. Some Jordanian officials and diplomats believe Baghdad ordered Janabi's killing because he was trying to flee Iraq.

Tens of thousands of Iraqis have streamed into Jordan to flee political turmoil and economic hardship since the Gulf war, many of them applying unsuccessfully to emigrate to the West.