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Feb 25, 12:44 PM EST

US Embassy warns of threat to malls in Jordan's capital

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AMMAN, Jordan (AP) -- The U.S. Embassy in Jordan warned Wednesday of a potential threat of attacks against "high-end malls" in Jordan's capital, as the kingdom takes part in airstrikes targeting the extremist Islamic State group.

The embassy said the threat to Amman shopping malls was "judged to be credible," but that it had no information about the type or timing of any possible attack. It advised U.S. citizens to stay away from the malls, adding that embassy staff and their families were already instructed to do so for the next few days.

Jordan has increased security at the malls, the embassy statement said.

Government spokesman Mohammed al-Momani said Jordan stepped up security measures after "regional events intensified," an apparent reference to Jordan's decision earlier this month to raise its profile in the military campaign against the Islamic State group. The decision came after the extremists released a video that showed them burning to death a Jordanian fighter pilot trapped inside a metal cage.

Al-Momani did not comment specifically on the warning about the malls, saying only that "countries issue such warnings all the time."

The killing of the pilot sparked widespread anger across Jordan. In an initial response, Jordan executed two Iraqi al-Qaida prisoners and intensified its airstrikes against the group.

Jordan, a staunch Western ally, has been part of a U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State since September. The extremists control large areas of Iraq and Syria, neighbors of Jordan.

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