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Jordan Bombings Reaffirm Need for Unity to Fight Terror, Rice Says

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2005 – Killing innocent civilians cannot be justified, and the United States will stand firmly with Jordan and the world to see that terrorism is defeated, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Nov. 14 in Amman, Jordan's capital city.

Rice represented the United States at a wreath-laying ceremony commemorating those killed in the Nov. 9 suicide bombings at three hotels in Amman. The attacks killed roughly 60, including members of a wedding party gathered at the Radisson Hotel, where Rice spoke Nov. 14.

The Iraqi wing of the al Qaeda organization, led by fugitive Jordanian-born terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, claimed responsibility for the bombings.

"We stand in solidarity with the people of Jordan (and) the people around the world who have suffered similar tragedies," Rice said. "And we will stand firm."

The killings serve as a reminder of the terrorists' brutality and the need for the world to unify against them, Rice said.

"This underscores our common struggle against terrorism, against people who would kill innocents who were here trying to carry on normal lives or, in the case of this wedding hall, to celebrate what is one of the happiest days in anyone's lives," she said.

Rice praised Jordan's King Abdullah II and the Jordanian people for the determination and conviction they have shown in the face of adversity.

"We will all stand until terrorism is defeated and until those who simply want to live a normal life and to live in peace can return to the days when this sort of tragedy, this sort of outrage, does not happen," she said.

Immediately following the attacks, President Bush delivered a stern condemnation and vowed to continue working with other countries around the world "to make sure that al Qaeda and people affiliated with al Qaeda are brought to justice."

Jordanian security forces arrested a woman believed the only surviving perpetrator Nov. 13. Sajida Mabruk Atrous Rishawi was seen widely on television Nov. 14 describing her planned role in the mission and her unsuccessful attempt to blow herself up. Rishawi's husband was among the three suicide bombers believed to have been killed during the attacks.

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Condoleezza Rice

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