"Our country is secure and stable and our highly efficient security agencies are in control of the situation inside the kingdom and on its borders," Al-Rai newspaper on Friday quoted Interior Minister Samir Habashneh as saying.

"Our grip on security is excellent and this is a call to all foreigners living in the kingdom, regardless of their nationality, to be reassured," he added.

Government spokeswoman Asma Khodr gave a similar reassurance to Al-Dustour and the Jordan Times after the US embassy published on its website Thursday a security alert to American citizens in Jordan.

"We are sending this message to you at this time because the embassy has become aware of information that in mid-January 2004, unidentified terrorists were possibly planning attacks against hotels in Jordan," the embassy said.

'No specific information'

"We have no information that US-owned hotels were being targeted specifically ... (nor) further information on the timing, method or participants in this possible threat," it added.

"We continue to urge American citizens residing or visiting Jordan to maintain a heightened sense of vigilance concerning their personal security," said the message dated on Wednesday.

Embassy press attaché Justin Siberell told AFP the warning was part of a constant security review in Jordan and other regional countries but was unable to give further details.

In mid-February, Jordanian newspapers reported that authorities had busted a "terrorist" gang that was allegedly plotting to attack US and Israeli targets in Jordan. Three people were arrested, and one suspect is on the run.

The suspects were charged with plotting to carry out terrorist activities and illegal possession of weapons, the press said.