Jordan King Calls for All-Out War on Islamic Militancy

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Jordan's King Abdullah II urged his new prime minister Thursday to launch an all-out war against Islamic militancy in the wake of the triple hotel bombings earlier this month that killed 63 people.

In a letter to newly appointed Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit, Abdullah said the Nov. 9 bombings "increase our determination to stick to our reform and democratization process, which is irreversible."

"At the same time, it reaffirms our need to adopt a comprehensive strategy to confront the Takfiri culture," Abdullah said, referring to the ideology adopted by Al Qaeda and other militants who condone the killing of those they consider infidels.

Abdullah said the strategy should "not only deal with the security dimension, but also the ideological, cultural and political spheres to confront those who choose the path of destruction and sabotage to reach their goals."

Al-Bakhit was Jordan's ambassador to Israel until appointed to head the national security council six days after the bombings.

Prime Minister Adnan Badran resigned earlier Thursday, the official told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to speak to the press.

The official Petra news agency confirmed Badran's resignation, saying the prime minister, had tendered his Cabinet's resignation to the king and the monarch accepted it. Badran took office in April.

The change of government is part of general shake-up following the suicide bombings, which hurt Jordan's reputation as one of the most stable countries in the Middle East.

Al-Bakhit was appointed Nov. 15 to head the national security council.

Government officials said the king may have chosen al-Bakhit because of his reputation as a tough former general who ran a southern Jordanian university that trains army and police recruits.