A Canadian tourist and several security officers are among at least 10 people who died after gunmen opened fire at a Crusader castle in southern Jordan Sunday. The attackers took refuge in the castle after firing on a police patrol, state-run media say. More than 20 people were reportedly injured.
Four gunmen were killed by security forces, reports the Jordan Times, after an hours-long operation to free people trapped in the castle.
The attack happened in Karak, where tourists often visit the ruins of the castle built in the 12th century. According to Jordan’s Public Security Department, armed men initially injured two police officers in a shootout at a house near the city before driving to the castle, where the most intense violence occurred.
“Special forces surrounded the castle on a hill to try to free tourists trapped inside. It said police officers also came under fire in two separate attacks in the city,” NPR’s Jane Arraf reports for our Newscast unit. “Jordan is normally calm but has had several shootings of security forces and recently U.S. military trainers blamed on Islamist extremists. No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks.”
The Karak Castle was once part of the line of Crusader castles that ran from Aqaba to Turkey. According to the Jordanian government, “The city was the ancient capital of Moab, and was also used by the Greeks and Romans.”