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Jordan Arrests Iraqis Suspected of Plotting Attacks on US Troops - 2003-04-01

Jordanian authorities have arrested an undisclosed number of Iraqis they suspect of plotting terrorist actions against U.S. troops stationed in the country.

The Iraqis being detained are suspected of plotting to poison a water tank that supplies American soldiers based near Jordan's border with Iraq. Jordan has allowed a few thousand American troops in the country for defensive purposes, including the set-up and operation of Patriot anti-missile systems.

A western diplomat told VOA that Jordanian authorities foiled another plot to attack an international hotel that is frequented by Westerners in Amman.

Last week, Jordan expelled five Iraqi diplomats. The foreign minister said it was for security reasons, which he refused to make public. Later, two of the diplomats were allowed to stay.

The government is also reported to have questioned dozens of Jordanians linked to Saddam Hussein's administration.

Since the start of the war in Iraq, Jordan has increased security around key installations and diplomatic missions, amid concerns that spreading anti-American sentiment could provoke attacks against Westerners in Jordan.