Jordan Expresses 'Surprise' over Arms Deal to Colombian Rebels
A Jordanian government official has expressed "surprise" over reports from Peru implicating Jordan in a gun-running operation to Marxist rebels in Colombia, Al-Dustour newspaper said Tuesday.
"Contacts will be made with the government in Peru and the Interpol to find out details about this," the unnamed official was quoted as saying.
The official expressed "deep surprise" at the announcement Monday by Peru's President Alberto Fujimori that Lima had broken up a multinational gunrunning ring involved in the alleged operation.
Other Jordanian government officials were not immediately available for comment and one government source told AFP that no comment should be expected before details were clear.
Fujimori told a press conference in Lima that the ring allegedly supplied Russian-made assault rifles through Peru to Colombia's biggest and most violent insurgent group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
He said a Jordanian general was implicated in the case.
"The arms were acquired in Amman," said Fujimori.
"They were then shipped on a transport plane that stopped in the Canary Islands and Guyana before flying over Iquitos in northwestern Peru to be dropped," he said.
"We have pictures of them leaving Amman," Fujimori said, adding that authorities also have pictures of the people participating in the ring, "and the Mercedes Benz of the implicated Jordanian general."
The ring was broken up August 15th when attempts to air drop a fourth consignment of weapons in the Amazonian jungle near the Colombian border was foiled, Fujimori said.
The guns were shipped to Peru under cover of a lumber export operation. Peruvian wood was shipped to Amman, and the weapons loaded on to the planes for the return journey, the president explained - AMMAN (AFP)
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