Jordan releases soldier who killed 7 Israeli girls in 1997

A military spokesman says Jordan released a soldier who killed seven Israeli schoolgirls during a class trip to his country in 1997.

Spokesman Amer Sartawi says Ahmed Daqamseh was released early Sunday, after serving 20 years in prison. Daqamseh had killed the girls in a shooting rampage at the "Island of Peace" border post.

A military court deemed him mentally unstable at the time and sentenced him to life in prison, which in Jordan typically means 25 years. Jordanian lawmakers lobbied for his early release.

King Hussein, Jordan's ruler in 1997, paid a rare visit to Israel after the shooting to express his condolences to the girls' parents.

The shooting came three years after Israel and Jordan signed a peace treaty.