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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 November 2005, 09:57 GMT
'People were killed - it was ugly'
An injured man is escorted from the Grand Hyatt hotel in Amman, Jordan
The hotels are popular with Westerners and affluent Jordanians
Eyewitnesses have described the bloody scenes after bombs ripped through three major hotels in Amman, Jordan.

At the Radisson, the blast occurred in the middle of a wedding party where there were more than 250 guests.

Witnesses said the room was torn apart by the blast, which appeared to have gone off near a wall that separated it from the bar area.

"We thought it was fireworks for the wedding but I saw people falling to the ground," Ahmed, a guest at the reception, told the Associated Press news agency.

"I saw blood. There were people killed. It was ugly."

The fathers of both the bride and groom died in the attack and the couple themselves were injured.

The world has to know this has nothing to do with Islam
Bridegroom Ashraf al-Khaled

"I lost my father and my father-in-law and I saw many others dead. This is a horrible crime," Ashraf al-Khaled told state TV from his hospital bed.

"My mother-in-law is in an intensive care unit in this hospital just behind me and probably she will make it - we pray that she will make it."

He and the other wedding guests had done what they could to help the injured, he said.

"The world has to know this has nothing to do with Islam," he added. "We should show people all over the world that this is not Islam because this cannot help us as Arabs or as Muslims.

"This is damaging our rule, it is harming us, it's not getting anybody other than ourselves."

'Lot of panic'

The central Amman luxury hotels are popular with US and European businessmen and diplomats.

The Radisson, in particular, is popular with Israeli tourists, and reports say it has been a target of several foiled attacks by extremists in the past.

But the hotels have also become a gathering spot for affluent Jordanians and many of the victims of the attacks are believed to be locals.

A police officer stands by the shattered front of the Hyatt hotel
Witnesses said an explosion went off in the lobby of the Hyatt hotel

At the nine-storey Grand Hyatt, a US businessman said a bomb exploded in the lobby.

"Several of my friends have died," he told AP. "The people who carried this out were cowards."

The BBC's Caroline Hawley, who was in the Hyatt at the time of the blast, described a scene of confusion.

"There was a lot of panic," she said.

"We saw several wounded people being taken out - residents of the hotel, guests at the hotel, people eating dinner and hotel staff were all helping to evacuated the wounded."

A British guest, also at the Hyatt, said: "It was a miracle that we made it out with a scratch."

"I was eating with friends in the restaurant next to the bar when I saw a huge ball of fire shoot up to the ceiling and then everything went black," a French UN official told Reuters news agency.

"It caused absolute devastation."





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