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Last Updated: Sunday, 21 August 2005, 11:35 GMT 12:35 UK
Several held after Jordan attacks
Jordanian security forces guard rocket launch site
Police have found the rocket launcher and unused rockets
Several suspects have been detained in Jordan by security forces investigating three rocket attacks near the Red Sea port of Aqaba, security sources say.

Among those being held is an Iraqi man thought to be one of at least four militants behind Friday's attacks.

Other Iraqis, Syrians, Egyptians and Jordanians have also been detained.

One rocket narrowly missed a US warship, killing a Jordanian soldier. Another rocket landed near a military hospital and a third landed in Israel.

The failed attack on the USS Ashland is seen as the most serious threat to the US Navy in the region since the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen nearly five years ago.

Interior Minister Awni Yirfas told the Associated Press news agency that security forces had found the launcher used to fire the three Katyusha rockets.

The launcher was found in a warehouse in an industrial hillside area overlooking Aqaba.

Police sources said a number of unused rockets were also found there, leading them to believe that further attacks had been planned.

Internet claim

A big security sweep is being carried out across Jordan, with house-to-house searches, road blocks and tighter security in the capital, Amman.

Map
Up to 30 people have been detained as part of the investigation but some of those were released after questioning.

A group saying it has links to al-Qaeda has said in an internet statement that it was behind the rocket attacks.

The Abdullah al-Azzam Brigades has previously said it carried out the series of bombings in the Egyptian resort of Sharm al-Sheikh in July, although other groups have made the same claim.

The USS Ashland sailed out of Aqaba after the incident, along with a sister ship also anchored there at the time.

Aqaba, at the northern end of the Red Sea, is Jordan's only sea port. The Israeli city of Eilat, where one of the missiles landed, is about 15km (9 miles) away.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Watch footage showing the damage the attacks caused



SEE ALSO:
Jordanians hunt rocket suspects
20 Aug 05 |  Middle East
Jordan rockets miss US Navy ship
19 Aug 05 |  Middle East
Jordan fears loss of US favour
25 Apr 05 |  Middle East
Jordan and Israel's difficult peace
26 Oct 04 |  Middle East
Country profile: Jordan
15 Jun 05 |  Country profiles
USS Cole attack verdicts upheld
26 Feb 05 |  Middle East


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