Jordan hangs 10 men convicted on terrorism charges

Ten men have been executed in Jordan after being convicted on terrorism charges, including an attack on tourists in which a British man was killed.

Information minister Mahmud al Momani said the 10 men had been involved in five different attacks - including one in which Rochdale accountant Christopher Stokes, 30, was killed in 2006.

He was shot dead when a gunman opened fire on a group of tourists near the Roman amphitheatre in the Jordanian capital, Amman. Five others were wounded.

Also executed on Saturday were prisoners convicted over a bombing attack on Jordan's embassy in the Iraqi capital in 2003 and the shooting of high-profile writer Nahed Hattar on the steps of a courthouse in Amman in September.

Mr Momani said the convicts - all Jordanians - had been hanged at dawn at Swaqa Prison, south of Amman.

Another five men were also executed for "heinous" crimes including rape, he added.

It was the largest number of executions since Jordan began a crackdown on Islamist extremists more than two years ago.

The country is a key member of the US-led military coalition against Islamic State, which controls parts of neighbouring Iraq and Syria.

Jordan suspended the death penalty between 2006 and 2014 after King Abdullah II said in 2005 that Jordan intended to become the first Middle Eastern country to change its policy on the death penalty in line with most European countries.

While courts continued to sentence people to death, the penalty was not enforced.

But the public appeared to link the policy with a rise in crime and in December 2014, 11 men who had been convicted of murder were hanged.

Public opinion hardened further after Islamic State captured a Jordanian pilot, Maaz al-Kassasbeh, and burned him alive in a cage in February 2015 after his plane crashed in a jihadist-held region of Syria the previous December.

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