BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Persian Pashto Turkish French
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Middle East  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 12 November, 2002, 19:39 GMT
Militants in Jordan evade capture
Newspaper vendor and purchase in Amman on 29 October
Killings in Maan in October shocked people
Jordanian security forces are continuing their efforts to arrest a group of armed Islamists in the southern city of Maan.


The campaign will continue until the arrest of the last member of this gang

Brigadier Ahmed Qudah

Residents hid from gunfire on Tuesday, as security forces looking for militants and weapons conducted house-to-house searches.

Two police officers and three gunmen have been killed and dozens of people have been detained in three days of raids.

The authorities are hunting down militant leader Mohammad Shalabi - better known as Abu Sayyaf - who escaped from Jordanian police custody last month.

"The campaign will continue until the arrest of the last member of this gang," Maan's police chief, Brigadier Ahmed Qudah, said.

Arrests

On Tuesday, state-run Jordan television showed video of weapons it said had been seized in the recent raids, including rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons.

Lawrence Foley (Picture: US Embassy in Jordan)
Militants are believed to be linked to Foley's death

Maan remains sealed to outsiders, although a curfew imposed on Sunday has been eased to allow people to buy food.

Police say 50 people - including eight foreigners - have been arrested in the past three days.

Militants in the city are believed to be linked to the assassination of a US diplomat, Laurence Foley, in the Jordanian capital Amman in October.

"Trouble spot"

The BBC's Middle East analyst Roger Hardy says Maan has long been a trouble spot.

Islamist and anti-government sentiment is strong in the city and people retain close-knit tribal loyalties.

This has complicated the work of the security forces, our correspondent says, since local Bedouin tribes have refused to hand over clan members wanted by the authorities.

The situation in Maan has been tense since Mr Shalabi was wounded in a shoot-out with police at the beginning of November.

Police officials say Mr Shalabi and two other leaders are being protected by fellow Bedouins armed with assault rifles, hand grenades and other weapons.

Mr Shalabi and others have been on the authorities' wanted list since riots in Maan at the beginning of the year, which followed the controversial killing of a student during his arrest by police.

See also:

10 Nov 02 | Middle East
30 Oct 02 | Middle East
29 Oct 02 | Middle East
28 Oct 02 | Middle East
31 Jan 02 | Middle East
23 Jan 02 | Middle East
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Middle East stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Middle East stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes