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11 Top Jordanian Officials Step Down

November 16, 2005|From Times Wire Services

AMMAN, Jordan — Eleven top Jordanian officials, including the national security advisor, resigned Tuesday, and the government imposed tough new rules aimed at foreigners in the wake of last week's deadly hotel bombings.

A fourth American died of wounds sustained in the attacks, according to the U.S. Embassy, raising the death toll to 58, plus the three bombers. The American was not further identified.

Few details were given for the resignations of the 11 officials, who included national security advisor Saad Kheir and Faisal Fayez, the Royal Court chief and a former prime minister.

Palace aides said Salem Turk, former deputy chief of staff in charge of army investments, would replace Fayez.

A reshuffle had been expected for several months to improve the image of the court, which had become tarnished by perceptions of corruption.

But it was given extra impetus by last Wednesday's bombings.

Interior Minister Awni Yirfas announced new regulations Tuesday aimed at keeping foreign militants from operating covertly in the country, including a requirement that Jordanians notify authorities within 48 hours of any foreigners renting an apartment or house.

Jordan has also started drafting new anti-terrorism laws that will probably be ready for parliamentary debate early next year, an Interior Ministry official said.

The measures propose allowing any suspect to be held for questioning indefinitely and imposing penalties on those who put lives or property at risk -- inside or outside the country, the official said.

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