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DUNE FORCE Spend enough time in Wadi Rum, a desolate and spellbinding valley of rocks and rolling sands stretching 130 kilometers through the southern desert, and you're bound to come across the Desert Police—Jordan's sandblasted law enforcers. Dressed in ceremonial khaki galabias and armed with silver-sheathed knives and Smith & Wesson guns, their camelback patrols are often regarded as little more than an example of Jordan's p.r. machine cranked into full effect. True, on a day-to-day basis, rescuing lost tourists is their primary duty, and most desert policemen are more than happy to pose for photographs and pour strong Arabic coffee...

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