Jordan is usually a very safe tourist destination in the Middle East, but not on Sunday. Four police officers and a Canadian tourist were killed in a shooting attack. The gunman later took several people hostage, including other tourists. The hostages later were freed from the Karak Castle where they were held.
A Canadian tourist was among those killed in the shootout between the armed men and police. The other four killed were police officers. Nine people were injured.
The attackers then hid in the grounds of Karak Castle, a Crusader fort around 70 miles south of Jordan’s capital city, Amman.
The Public Security Directorate said on Sunday that a police patrol first came under fire near the city and the gunmen fled the scene in a car. There were two separate shootings.
Karak is a popular tourist destination in Jordan. Al-Karak, also known as just Karak or Kerak, is a city in Jordan known for its Crusader castle, the Kerak Castle. The castle is one of the three largest castles in the region, the other two being in Syria.
Tourism remains a major income earner for Jordan. The country is known for a high level of security for visitors. So far it appears this incident is more an isolated exception from what is known as a major tourism attack.
Statement: Attack in Jordan today categorized as a criminal incident
It does appear to be a terror attack in Jordan today. Today’s deadly incident in Jordan close to a Kerak Castle, a famous Jordanian tourist site appears not to be a criminal incident by a group of unknown outlaws. They carried out an attack on a police station in the southern Jordanian city of Kerak and in the vicinity of the Kerak Castle. This cowardly attack killed 6 members of the security forces and one foreign tourist. There were also 12 injuries reported as a result of this heinous act.
While the situation is still unfolding in the Southern city of Kerak, Jordanian security officials told eTN: “We are extremely confident in the capabilities of our security forces in neutralizing the situation and preserving the security of our visitors and citizens. We would encourage you to remain calm as more news unfold in regards to this criminal incident. We are working round the clock to keep you updated and informed.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this attack and the people of Kerak and Jordan at this difficult time.”