AMMAN (Reuters) - A Canadian woman was killed in a shootout between police and armed men who had holed themselves up in a medieval castle in southern Jordan on Sunday, and other tourists were believed to be trapped inside, police and security sources said.
Four police officers were killed when the gunmen went on a shooting spree in the mountainous city of Karak before taking refuge in its Crusader-era castle, a police statement said.
The gunmen continued to fire at police from the castle, a popular tourist spot, as special forces rushed to the scene from surrounding areas, a security source said.
Prime Minister Hani al Mulki told parliament “a number of security personnel” had been killed and that security forces were laying siege to the castle.
Police said gunmen shot at officers patrolling the city before entering the castle, perched on top of a hill.
The identity of the assailants was not immediately clear.
Jordan is one of the few Arab states that have taken part in a U.S.-led air campaign against Islamic State militants holding territory in Syria. But many Jordanians oppose their country’s involvement, saying it had killed fellow Muslims and raised security threats inside Jordan.
Officials worry about radical Islam’s growing profile in Jordan and support in impoverished areas for militant groups.
Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Robin Pomeroy