Abu Qatada leaves Britain on flight bound for Jordan

A jet carrying hardline Islamist cleric Abu Qatada took off from an airfield in Britain bound for Jordan on Sunday, an AFP photographer said, ending a nearly decade-long battle by successive governments to deport him.

Television pictures showed the Palestinian-born cleric dressed in a white robe and boarding the the privately chartered aircraft at the RAF Northolt airbase in west London before it lifted into the sky at 2:46 am (0146 GMT).