- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 10, 2005

Local mourners arrived at the Jordanian Embassy yesterday to sign books of condolences for those killed or wounded in Wednesday’s terrorist attacks on three hotels in Amman.

The embassy in Northwest was opened to the public yesterday morning and the books and pens laid out on tables for those saddened by the attacks, which left at least 59 persons dead and more than 100 injured.

Georgetown University professor Ricardo Ernst was one of the first mourners.

“Our deepest condolences to the Majesty and the people of Jordan for such a terrible event,” Mr. Ernst wrote. “Jordan has been an example for other countries in their respect for humanity and always searching for peace and progress in the region and in the world.”

“Our hearts go out to the victims and their families during this very difficult time,” was in the message signed by Elizabeth Dibble, deputy assistant secretary in the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.

Several messages in the five loose-leaf books were written in Arabic.

The tables inside the receiving room were set up beneath portraits of King Hussein, who died in 1999, and his eldest son, King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein.

Muhib Nimrat, a Jordanian diplomat at the embassy for seven years, learned about the bombings from newscasts, as did Omar Obeidat, a journalist completing eight months of duty at the embassy.

“It’s just killing people for nothing,” said Mr. Nimrat, explaining that most victims were Jordanians in the hotels most frequently occupied by Americans and tourists from Western nations.

“Killing innocent people, there’s no justification,” Mr. Obeidat said.

During the afternoon, Mary Clement of Silver Spring passed through security and signed an admissions register.

“I came to express my sincere sadness,” said Mrs. Clement, a self-described world evangelist. “We just know that God is going to find the people that did this.”

Mrs. Clement said Jordanian kings for decades have established camps for refugees, providing food, housing and medical care for thousands of parents and children.

Shortly after noon, 18 persons had signed the books of condolences, although the notice had been publicized briefly just a few hours earlier.

The books will close at 5 p.m. today.

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