Terror threat closes British embassy in Jordan

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The Independent Online

Britain closed its embassy in Jordan yesterday as the Foreign Office warned that terrorists "may be in the final stages of planning attacks against Westerners and places frequented by Westerners".

Two months ago, triple suicide bomb attacks on luxury hotels in the Jordanian capital, Amman, killed more than 50 people. Most of the victims were Jordanians. Al-Qa'ida in Iraq, led by the Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, claimed responsibility.

The assault was seen as retaliation against Jordan for its support of the American and British invasion of Iraq. Some training of Iraqi forces is carried out on Jordanian soil, and Jordan acts as a staging point for Westerners going to and from Iraq. About 51,000 Britons went to Jordan in 2004, mainly as tourists visiting ancient sites.

The Foreign Office said the British embassy in Amman would be closed until further notice "due to the security situation". A spokesman would not say if there had been a specific threat.