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Jordan executes 2 over death of U.S. diplomat

Jordan on Saturday executed two Islamist militants convicted two years ago of killing a U.S. diplomat in Amman in 2002 in a rare move to implement a death sentence against security detainees.
/ Source: Reuters

Jordan on Saturday executed two Islamist militants convicted two years ago of killing a U.S. diplomat in Amman in 2002 in a rare move to implement a death sentence against security detainees.

Officials told Reuters prison authorities in Swaqa hanged Libyan Salem bin Suweid and Jordanian Yasser Freihat at dawn, implementing a court sentence passed in 2004 for murdering U.S. diplomat Laurence Foley in Amman in October 2002.

“The death sentence by hanging against the two criminals, (Libyan) Salem Saad Salem bin Suweid and Jordanian national Yasser Fathi Ibrahim Freihat was executed at dawn after they were convicted of the terrorist act that led to the death of a diplomat working in Amman,” said a security official.

Death sentences are rarely implemented for political detainees.

Widespread rioting in three major Jordanian prisons broke out earlier this month after security forces went into Swaqa to transfer the two high-profile Islamist prisoners on death row for killing Foley.

Anti-riot police units had already been on alert at the prisons after prisoners threatened to riot if the two inmates were taken to be executed.

The prison clashes, which involved 150 inmates, were the most serious in Jordan in recent years.