June 26, 1997 in Nation/World

Jordanian Soldier Says He Doesn’t Recall Shooting Israeli Girls

Associated Press
 

A Jordanian soldier told a military court Wednesday he doesn’t remember shooting and killing seven Israeli schoolgirls - although he recalls the girls angering him by mocking him as he prayed.

Cpl. Ahmed Daqamseh said he was enraged by the girls’ “laughing and giggling” while he prayed, which Muslims are required to do five times a day.

“I noticed that some of them were scoffing at me,” he told the court at an army base in the town of Naour, 18 miles west of the capital, Amman. “They were trying to scorn my religion.”

Daqamseh, 26, is accused of firing on visiting Israeli schoolgirls March 13 on Naharayim island on the Jordan River, a tourist spot among Jordanians and Israelis alike. Seven girls were killed and seven wounded before fellow soldiers overpowered Daqamseh.

“I went to my jeep, pulled out my machine gun - and then I found myself at a police station,” the soldier told the court.

© Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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