Clashes between Jordanian security forces and jailed al Qaeda followers
A Jordanian security source stated on Wednesday that riots took place at Jweideh jail on Tuesday afternoon. During the riots, Islamist detainees closed the doors of their cells and requested to gather all the Islamist detainess in one jail. Security authorities tried to calm things down and during the clash prisoners were able to capture some of the prison staff.
According to a report by Petra news agency on Wednesday, security forces "were exerting efforts to calm things down." The Jordanian source said that the news deaths were "baseless," pointing out that the situation in the other jails is "normal." In addition, the statement said a number of captured prison staff were freed after negotiations with prisoners. Islamist sources said the inmates freed their hostages after receiving promises they would not be punished.
According to an earlier report by Reuters, however, Jordanian troops clashed with prisoners in three major prisons. The clashes started after security forces tried to move top security Islamist detainees.
Special forces used teargas and plastic bullets to force their way into cells in the Swaqa, Jweideh and Qafqafa prisons, where al-Qaeda's followers are held.
Security sources told Reuters the riots were triggered by the prison authorities' bid to move Libyan Salem bin Suweid, who was sentenced to death in 2004 for assassinating American diplomat Laurence Foley in Amman in October 2002. Islamist detainees thought the authorities were taking Suweid and his Jordanian accomplice Yasser Freihat for execution.
At least eight injured in Jweideh while four prisoners were hurt in Swaqa.