King Abdullah: 'Jordan not afraid'

In his message to the nation, Jordan ruler King Abdullah said that Jordan is "not afraid" and will not be cowed into changing its policies by the bombings. At least 56 people were killed in the attacks on Amman hotels.

A key US ally, the King also made a call for a global strategy against terrorism. Supporters of the King have rallied to condemn "Jordan's 9/11" claimed by the Al-Qaida in Iraq group.

Nearly 100 people, mostly Jordanians, were injured in the three blasts, at the Grand Hyatt, Days Inn and Radisson SAS hotels. The blast at the latter caused carnage at a wedding reception.

Meanwhile, US President George W Bush on Thursday condemned the hotel bombings in Jordan. He said the attackers defiled Islam and the United States would help bring those responsible to justice.

"The killings should remind all of us that there is an enemy in this world that s willing to kill innocent people, willing to bomb a wedding celebration in order to advance their cause," Bush said in the Oval Office during a meeting with President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen, a Middle East ally in the war on terror.

President Saleh, for his part, did not react directly on the bombings in Jordan. However, he did say that Yemen's resolve was firm, and pledged to continue working with the United States and the international community in combating terror.

President Bush also called King Abdullah II Thursday to express the United States' condolences for the injuries and loss of life in the nearly simultaneous suicide attacks that also wounded more than 115 people.

In an Internet statement whose authenticity could not immediately be verified, al-Qaida in Iraq linked the blasts at the Grand Hyatt, the Radisson SAS and the Days Inn hotels to the war in Iraq and called Amman the "backyard garden" for US operations, reports the AP. I.L.

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