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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 September 2006, 09:00 GMT 10:00 UK
Failed Amman hotel bomber to hang
Suspected would-be bomber Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi on Jordanian TV
Suspected would-be bomber Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi on Jordanian TV

A Jordanian court has sentenced a failed Iraqi suicide bomber to death for her role in attacks on hotels in Amman which killed 60 people last year.

The court also passed death sentences by hanging on six other defendants who were tried in absentia.

Sajida al-Rishawi was filmed by police confessing to trying to take part in the 9 November attack, but said her explosives belt had not detonated.

She later said her confession was taken under duress and pleaded not guilty.

The attacks were claimed by al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab Zarqawi, who was killed in an operation by US forces earlier this year.

The court said in statement that Rishawi and the other six were found guilty "beyond doubt" in the deadliest bomb attack in Jordan's recent history.

During the trial, her lawyer had said she had no intention of killing herself and had not even tried to explode her belt.

A forensics expert told the court that the trigger mechanism on the belt had jammed.

'Revenge attack'

Correspondents say the blasts shook Jordan, a relatively stable country in the volatile Middle East, because of the high number of civilian casualties - mainly Jordanian Muslim women and children.

Rishawi's husband, Ali Hussein Ali al-Shamari, was one of a group of Iraqi attackers who exploded bombs simultaneously in three five-star hotels in the Jordanian capital.

Her lawyer said Shamari had forced her to go with him to the Radisson hotel to commit the attack at a crowded wedding party.

Rishawi and Shamari had themselves been married just days before the attack, she said, but the marriage had not been consummated.

The hotel bombings in Jordan - a strong ally of the US - were thought to have been motivated by revenge for US military operations in western Iraq where the bombers came from.

1. Vehicle explodes outside hotel after being stopped at a police checkpoint
2. In the most deadly attack, a bomb destroys a banquet room where a wedding reception was being held. Dozens injured by shrapnel
3. Suicide attacker detonates bomb in hotel bar, just before 2100 local time. Two senior Palestinian officials are among the dead

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