Gunmen Get Out of Car at Castle in Jordan, Then Attack

10 killed in a series of attacks Sunday
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 19, 2016 12:42 AM CST
Kerak Castle is one of the largest Crusader castles in the region.   (Wikipedia/Daniel Case)
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(Newser) – Gunmen assaulted Jordanian police in a series of attacks Sunday, including one at a Crusader castle popular with tourists, killing 10, officials say. Several 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, the AP reports. Security officials announced late Sunday, several hours after reports of the first shooting, that the operation had ended and that four gunmen were killed. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks in Karak, which is in central Jordan, about 87 miles south of the capital.

"Four gunmen got out of their car" at the castle, says a local resident. "They opened fire at the Canadian tourists. The woman was killed, the other Canadian tourist escaped and hid behind a car, and one of the children was injured." Police came under fire in at least three other incidents in the district. In all, seven members of the security forces, two local civilians, and the tourist from Canada were killed, security officials said. Fifteen members of the security forces, 17 local civilians, and two foreign nationals were injured. The slain tourist was identified as Linda Vatcher, a 62-year-old retired elementary school teacher from Newfoundland who was a widow and the mother of two adult sons. The Canadian Embassy in Amman issued a warning urging Canadians to avoid travel to Karak. (Read more Jordan stories.)

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