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Jordan conducts '56 air raids' on Islamic State targets

Jordan's air force chief has said his country's jet fighters had conducted 56 raids in three days of intensified bombing targeting a stronghold of Islamic State militants in northeast Syria.

"We achieved what we aimed at. We destroyed logistics centres, arms depots and targeted hideouts of their fighters," General Mansour al Jbour, head of the Jordanian air force, told a news conference.


Jordan's King Abdullah condemns 'cowardly' killing

King Abdullah during his televised address

Jordan's King Abdullah has said the killing of pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh by Islamic State militants was an act of cowardly terror by a group that had nothing to do with Islam.

"This [is] cowardly terror by a criminal group that has no relation to Islam ... It's the duty of all citizens to stand together," he said in a short televised appearance.

The king cut short a visit to Washington after the news of the pilot's death.

Abu Qatada's trial in Jordan adjourned

The trial of Abu Qatada was adjourned until Christmas Eve, following his objection to the presence of a military judge in the three-judge tribunal.

Abu Qatada's family arrives to court in Jordan. Credit: REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

The radical cleric said the make-up of the judicial panel violates an agreement with Britain which paved way for his extradition and was meant to guarantee him a fair trial in his homeland.

He is charged with plotting terror attacks against Israelis, Americans and other Westerners in Jordan in two foiled attempts in 1999 and 2000.

Abu Qatada appeared in court today. Credit: REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

In both cases, Abu Qatada was convicted in absentia and sentenced to life in prison.

But on his return from the UK in July, those sentences were suspended and he has to be re-tried under Jordanian law.

Abu Qatada's family arrives to court in Jordan. Credit: REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed


Abu Qatada demands civilian trial in Jordan

Abu Qatada, the radical cleric on trial in Jordan, has challenged the Jordanian authorities over the make-up of the judicial panel.

According to media reports, he protested against a military judge on the panel.

Mr Qatada said this was against the assurances given to him at the time he was fighting his deportation from the UK.

He said Jordanian authorities said the court would be independent and civilian.

His lawyer quoted a formal letter from the authorities to foreign secretary William Hague, which was part of the new treaty between Jordan and the UK.

The trial was adjourned in consideration of these claims until Christmas Eve.

Read: Abu Qatada leaves Britain after a near decade-long battle

Trial of Abu Qatada expected to begin in Jordan

The trial of radical cleric Abu Qatada is expected to begin today in Jordan. Qatada is to face terrorism charges following his deportation from the UK in July.

Abu Qatada was deported from the UK in July following a lengthy legal battle. Credit: Press Association

He is accused of involvement in a series of bombings in 1998 and a terrorist plot that was foiled in 2000.

Following a near decade-long battle against deportation, it was a treaty signed between the UK and Jordan earlier this year that finally secured Qatada's departure, giving the radical preacher the assurances he needed to leave his taxpayer-funded home behind.

The agreement, announced by the Home Secretary earlier this year, aimed to allay fears that evidence extracted through torture would not be used against the father-of-five at his trial.

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