Gunmen kill 10, including Canadian, in attacks on police

December 19, 2016 | By | Reply More

Gunmen assaulted Jordanian police in a series of attacks Sunday, including at a Crusader castle popular with tourists, killing seven officers, two local civilians and a woman visiting from Canada, officials said.

gunmenSeveral armed men barricaded themselves inside the castle for hours, hemmed in by special forces soldiers.

At least 34 people, including two foreign nationals, were wounded in the day’s violence, which was one of the bloodiest attacks in Jordan in recent memory.

Security officials announced late Sunday, several hours after reports of the first shooting, that the operation had ended and that four gunmen were killed. They said troops continued to search the area.

They made no reference to local media reports that at one point, the attackers had held hostages.

A witness said attackers immediately targeted tourists when they reached the castle.

Al-Habashneh said the attackers also targeted other people. Security forces “engaged with the gunmen and cornered the gunmen at the castle gate,” he said.

The killing of the Canadian visitor could further hurt Jordan’s embattled tourism sector, which has declined sharply since the Islamic State group seized large parts of neighboring Syria and Iraq two years ago.

Canada’s global affairs spokesman, John Babcock, told The Associated Press that the dead woman was Linda Vatcher.

“She was very friendly, outgoing. She was nice to everyone. A friend to all,” Rhymes said from Burgeo, a remote town of 1,400 people on Canada’s East Coast. “It’s devastating. It has hit the town hard. My mind is not there right now. She was a beautiful person.”

The Canadian Embassy in Amman issued an alert warning urging Canadians to avoid travel to Karak, a town in central Jordan about 140 kilometers (87 miles) south of the capital.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks in and near Karak.

In another attack, gunmen fired on a security patrol in Karak, causing no injuries, the statement said.

Armed men also opened fire on a police station at the Crusader fort, wounding members of security forces.

Jordan faces homegrown extremism, with hundreds of Jordanians fighting alongside other Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria and several thousand more supporting the extremist group in the kingdom.

Over the past year, gunmen have carried out several attacks on members of the Jordanian security forces and foreign trainers. Earlier this year, Jordanian security forces engaged in a deadly shootout with suspected IS sympathizers in a northern Jordanian town.

Press journalist for HRO media – Ignacio Damigo reports.

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Category: International

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