Jordanian court sentences nine militants in Karak shooting

The December 2016 attack killed 14 people. (AP)
Updated 13 November 2018

Jordanian court sentences nine militants in Karak shooting

  • The shooting rampage took place two years ago in an ancient castle in the southern city of Karak
  • The court said the group of nine were involved in helping Islamist militants in attacks on the area

AMMAN: A court in Jordan on Tuesday sentenced nine militants to prison terms ranging from three years to life for a shooting rampage two years ago in an ancient castle in the southern city of Karak that killed 10 people, including a Canadian tourist.
The court said the group of nine were involved in helping Islamist militants in attacks on the area surrounding an ancient crusader castle. The gunfights also left four militants dead.
The state security court found them guilty of “abetting terrorist acts that led to the death of human beings” and committing “terrorist acts using automatic weapons.”
Militants from Al-Qaeda and other radical groups have long targeted the US-allied kingdom and dozens of militants are currently serving long prison terms.
King Abdullah, an ally of the Western powers against Islamist militancy and a defender of Jordan’s peace treaty with Israel, has been among the most vocal leaders in the region in warning of threats posed by radical groups.
Jordan plays a prominent role in the US-led coalition against Daesh, providing military, logistical and intelligence support, according to Western diplomats and regional intelligence sources.
Jordan has been relatively unscathed by the uprisings, civil wars and Islamist militancy that have swept the Middle East since 2011, but it maintains a high level of vigilance.


Arab ministers warn of oil spill disasters in the Red Sea

Updated 12 min 29 sec ago

Arab ministers warn of oil spill disasters in the Red Sea

  • The session was held at Saudi Arabia’s request to discuss ways of avoiding a disaster in the Red Sea

Arab ministers have warned of oil spill disasters in the Red Sea and called on international and regional bodies to maintain maritime security in the area.

An Arab League video conference session on Monday brought together ministers responsible for environmental affairs.

The session was held at Saudi Arabia’s request to discuss ways of avoiding a disaster in the Red Sea because of an oil tanker that has been anchored off Yemen’s Ras Isa port since 2015.

The Houthis have prevented international engineers from boarding the vessel to carry out essential repairs and there are fears that the oil it contains will start to seep out as the tanker’s condition deteriorates.

Ambassador Kamal Hassan Ali, assistant secretary-general and head of the economic affairs sector at the Arab League, said that the meeting concluded with foreign ministers being requested to take political action as the oil disaster threat was a matter of politics and security.

The meeting also requested that the league’s general secretariat communicate with the regional and international bodies of countries bordering the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden to preserve the environment and provide technical support in order to submit a report on spillage risks.

Hassan said that finding an appropriate solution to avoid an environmental catastrophe was of major regional and global importance because the scale of such a disaster would threaten marine life, biodiversity, international shipping lines and ports in that location.

He said that the region was facing major challenges that demanded solidarity and unity in all fields, including the environment.

Environmental challenges did not respect borders, he added, and maintaining a healthy environment for the region was a collective issue that required joint effort through plans and strategies adhering to local, regional and international agreements and laws.

Hassan regarded the participation of Arab ministers responsible for environmental affairs in the session as evidence of the importance that regional environmental security held for them, their countries and the region in terms of stability and people’s well-being.

He emphasized the close link between the environment and development, which had led to the emergence of the concept of sustainable development.

The preservation of oceans, seas, marine resources and their sustainable use was one of the most important development goals, he said.