Jordan's king orders release of Hamas smugglers

October 19, 2006 22:34

Nine men suspected of smuggling Hamas weapons into Jordan were released from jail Thursday on orders from King Abdullah II, the official Petra news agency reported. The king released the men, part of a group of 20 arrested in late April, as a gesture for the Muslim feast of Eid al-Fitr, the agency said. The pardon also included more than 200 other prisoners, including 42 juveniles. A Jordanian security official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to speak to the media, confirmed that the nine men were among those involved in the Hamas plot. The head of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, Sheik Salem al-Falahat, said the suspects released Thursday were all Jordanian citizens who sympathized with Hamas, but could not confirm whether they were members of any Islamic group.

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