Jordan’s Government Calls for Iraqi Inquiry into Armed Robbery of Ambassador
The Jordanian government has called on the Iraqi authorities to open an inquiry into the armed robbery of the kingdom's ambassador to Baghdad, Hamoud Qatarneh, to find those responsible and charge them, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
The ministry said that the robbery took place “last Saturday during the afternoon” and that “the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad told the Iraqi authorities about the incident and called for an inquiry and search for those responsible to bring them before the courts,” according to the statement, cited by the Jordan Times newspaper.
The ministry said that the incident occurred in an area located some 250 kilometers to the west of Baghdad when the car taking the ambassador and his family to Baghdad stopped for a break on the road linking Amman to the Iraqi capital.
The armed men, “after firing (into the air) threatened to kill the ambassador and then made off with his car bearing diplomatic license plates,” the statement added.
Earlier Tuesday, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, quoted an official source at the foreign ministry as saying that the ambassador was returning to his position in Baghdad by road at the end of his holiday in Jordan, when he “was the victim of an armed attack on Iraqi territory.”
“Three armed men attacked him and looted everything that was in the car before fleeing,” Petra said, adding that Qatarneh later arrived in Baghdad.
Jordan and Iraq are linked by a 1,000-kilometer highway, which has been the main lifeline to Baghdad since 1990. That year, international flights to and from the country were banned under UN sanctions imposed after its invasion of Kuwait.
In the past few years, Iraqi highway bandits have reportedly staged occasional robberies and killings.
At least six Jordanian motorists have been robbed or killed along the highway.
The Jordanian diplomatic pouch was snatched by highway thieves several years ago, said the paper -- Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)