Jordan: 10 killed as ISIS terrorists take tourists hostage at castle; 2 more towns, Petra and Irbid, under attack
Ten people were killed after armed ISIS terrorists in Jordan opened fire in what appear to be targeted attacks against tourists and police in Karak on Sunday.
A Canadian woman, seven police officers and two Jordanian civilians were killed in Karak, a tourist destination famous for its castle about 70 miles south of the capital of Amman, according to Jordan’s general security department.
Shots broke out in different areas of Karak before the terrorists fled to the city’s medieval castle, where several tourists inside were taken hostage.
Police surrounded the castle and stormed the fortress, rescuing hostages who were trapped inside after eight hours.
More than two dozen people were taken to the hospital, it has been reported.
After the deadly terror attack on the southern town of Karak, gunfights have erupted in two more Jordanian towns, Irbid in the north, and the celebrated rock-carved ruins of Petra in the south. The Kingdom of Jordan appears to be under a general ISIS attack.
A former government minister from Karak city, Sameeh Maaytah, said there were signs Islamist terrorists may have been behind the attack but the government has so far steered away from saying this.
Gunmen terrorists in different areas of the Karak governorate opened fire in short succession, appearing to target police as well as tourists near the castle.
According to Jordan’s Public Safety Directorate, a police patrol responded to reports of a house fire in the town of Qatarneh, about 25 miles outside of the city of Karak.
Gunmen posted inside the home ambushed the police and wounded two officers before fleeing by car, Al Jazeera reported.
Another security patrol was attacked, but no one was injured.
Shots were also fired at a police station in Karak Castle, wounding ‘several policemen and passerby’, according to Petra.
They entered the castle, perched on top of a hill, and used one of the towers to fire at a nearby police station.
Authorities said ‘five or six gunmen’ were involved, but Prime Minister Prime Minister Hani Mulki said there were 10 terrorists inside the castle.
‘Police and security forces have surrounded the castle and its vicinity and launched an operation to hunt down the gunmen,’ according to a statement issued by the Public Security Directorate.
The Canadian government confirmed one of its nationals was among the victims.
Jordan is one of the few Arab states that have taken part in a U.S.-led air campaign against ISIS terrorists holding territory in Syria.