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Wednesday, 30 October, 2002, 17:53 GMT
'No leads' in US diplomat killing
Laurence Foley's casket is carried
A Jordanian honour guard accompanied the coffin
Jordanian authorities have questioned dozens of people, but still have no real leads in the killing of US diplomat Laurence Foley on Monday, the country's information minister said.


Several people have been called in for questioning as of Monday, immediately after the assassination, but we have no serious leads so far

Mohammad Adwan, Information Minister
Mohammad Adwan made the comments to the AFP news agency on Wednesday as Foley's body was repatriated to the United States.

Washington's senior Middle East envoy William Burns, a former ambassador to Jordan, cut short a trip to the region to accompany the slain man's widow Virginia on the flight home.

Foley was shot at close range by a lone gunman as he walked to his car in front of his home in Amman.

Crackdown denied

The gunman escaped and in the wake of the attack it was reported that the authorities rounded up scores of political activists in a nationwide sweep to catch the killer.

"The investigation is very intense and it is focusing on the vicinity of the incident and other places, targeting all suspected individuals or organisations, but there have been no arrests whatsoever," Mr Adwan said.

Foley receiving achievement award from US Ambassador Edward Gnehm on Sunday
Mr Foley (left) worked for USAid since 1988

"Several people have been called in for questioning as of Monday, immediately after the assassination, but we have no serious leads so far," he added.

But the minister denied that the authorities had rounded up Islamic extremists as part of the hunt for the killers.

"The authorities are going after every lead they can but they are not targeting any one group," he said.

Mr Adwan added that while Jordan was co-operating with US officials, there were no Americans directly involved with the investigation.

Tearful ceremony

The murder has been condemned by King Abdullah II and Prime Minister Ali Abu Ragheb, who said it was a "terrorist act (which) will not be tolerated" by Jordan.

This sentiment was echoed by Planning Minister Bassem Awadallah at a brief ceremony held at Marka military airport from where Foley's body was flown.

"The perpetrators will not be comfortable or at ease anywhere on Jordanian soil (because) this horrible act is so un-Jordanian," Mr Awadallah said.

Prince Faisal talks to Virginia Foley
Prince Faisal offered condolences to Mrs Foley

Mr Awadallah's office works closely with the United States Agency for International Development (USAid) where Foley worked.

King Abdullah's brother, Prince Faisal and American ambassador Edward Gnehm were in attendance as the diplomat's casket, draped in a US flag, was placed aboard a C-141 US military aircraft.

In a tearful ceremony US Marines and embassy colleagues carried the coffin past an honour guard from the Jordanian army as bagpipes played.

See also:

29 Oct 02 | Middle East
28 Oct 02 | Middle East
28 Oct 02 | Middle East
08 Oct 02 | Country profiles
07 Aug 01 | Middle East
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