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18 Dec 2016: Canadian Tourist Killed in Jordan Attack

The Bread Guy

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This from AP via the Toronto Sun, ...
Gunmen ambushed Jordanian police in a series of attacks Sunday, including at a Crusader castle popular with tourists, killing a woman visiting from Canada, seven officers and two local civilians, officials said.

At least 34 people were wounded in one of the bloodiest attacks in Jordan in recent memory. The Canadian government said a second Canadian was among the injured, but didn’t immediately have any further detail.

Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion offered the government’s condolences to the victims’ families.

Security officials said in a statement late Sunday that at least four gunmen were killed and that troops continued to search the area. The statement said large amounts of weapons had been seized. It made no reference to local media reports that at one point, the attackers had held hostages.

The shootings were the latest in a series of attacks that have challenged this pro-Western kingdom’s claim to be an oasis of calm in a region threatened by Islamic extremists.

The killing of the Canadian tourist, who was not immediately identified, could further hurt Jordan’s embattled tourism sector, which has declined sharply since the Islamic State group seized large parts of neighbouring Syria and Iraq two years ago.

After the attack, the Canadian embassy in Jordan tweeted a warning to Canadians, advising them against all travel to Karak until further notice.

The federal government said in an emailed statement Sunday afternoon that Canadian officials were working with local authorities to gather information.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks in and near the central town of Karak, about 140 kilometres south of the capital, Amman ...
... this from the CBC ...
Linda Vatcher, a retired teacher from Newfoundland, was killed as gunmen struck in multiple locations in Karak, Jordan, on Sunday.

Vatcher was visiting her son Chris Vatcher, who works in the Middle East. They were among a group of people caught as gunmen opened fire near the Crusader castle, a tourist location.

Chris Vatcher was shot and injured in the attack.

Seven police and two local civilians were also killed, officials said. Fifteen members of the security forces, 17 local civilians and two foreign nationals were injured.

Linda Vatcher, 62, hailed from Burgeo, N.L., but spent decades living and working in Corner Brook, N.L. ...
... and this from the "backyard media" Jordan Times, shared under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-42) ...
Four terrorists were killed in a security operation in the southern governorate of Karak that ended towards midnight on Sunday after 10 people were killed in a terror attack, including four police officers and three gendarmes.

Two civilians and a Canadian citizen were also killed, while 34 other civilians and police officers were injured when four gunmen stormed the southern city and fired at security and civilians before heading to Karak Castle, official sources said.

A joint statement by the public security and gendarmerie departments said their personnel were sweeping the area to make sure that there were no other terrorists.

An investigation was opened to identify the gunmen and their affiliation.

The security agencies, which mourned the fallen soldiers and civilians, said that automatic weapons and ammunition were found at the scene in Karak, while explosives, explosive belts and other weapons were seized from a house the terrorists used in Qatraneh, a desert town to the north of Karak.

The wounded included 11 police officers, four gendarmes, 17 citizens and two holders of foreign nationalities.

The joint statement stressed that the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army and security agencies are fully prepared and on the alert to defend Jordan and respond to those who try to tamper with the country’s security and stability.

Government Spokesperson Mohammad Momani told The Jordan Times earlier that the Kingdom would remain resilient against attempts to disturb its stability and security, extending Jordan’s condolences to the Canadian government over the loss of the Canadian national.

Momani and the police department had also announced earlier that all the civilians who were trapped in Karak Castle when the terrorists withdrew there were freed following a five-hour rescue operation.

Security forces evacuated people who reside near the castle, a resident who preferred anonymity told The Jordan Times.

“The forces closed all main entries to the town and asked residents to stay at home and follow security instructions,” the resident said.

Several videos that circulated on social media on Sunday purportedly showed dozens of residents carrying weapons and “pledging to help security forces fight the terrorists”.

Other video clips captured armoured vehicles and gendarmerie forces as they entered the city heading to the castle.

A second witness, a 23-year-old accountant, said four men entered the city in a vehicle and clashed with police.

“They were firing randomly and many people were injured,” the eyewitness told The Jordan Times over the phone.

“I hid under a vehicle to avoid the flying bullets but several people were injured from the fire exchange between the suspects and the security forces,” the eyewitness, who preferred anonymity, said.

He added that the suspects then headed to the castle and took hostages there. Momani said there was no hostage taking, but rather people were trapped and then freed.

“Several security forces and sharpshooters surrounded the castle, while helicopters hovered over the ancient ruins,” he added.

The PSD issued a statement earlier in the day saying that the incident occurred when a police unit responded to a fire alert that erupted in a house in Qatraneh.

“Unidentified assailants fired at the officers, injuring two of them then fled in a vehicle,” the PSD statement said.

Shortly afterwards, the statement added, the terrorists shot at a police patrol in Karak Governorate followed by shooting at a police station when they took refuge in the castle.

Addressing a Parliament session earlier in the day, Prime Minister Hani Mulki said there was no information on the attackers, describing them as “outlaws”.

He said the incident started in town of Qatraneh, north of Karak, when the unknown assailants opened fire from a cafe’s rooftop at a police patrol. Later on, he said, they targeted other patrols in the governorate.
More via Google News here.
This, from the PM's Info-machine:
“I was shocked and saddened to learn of the death of a Canadian and the injury of her son in a terrorist attack that took place in Karak, Jordan, that has left several dead and many more injured.

“On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of all the victims of this heinous act of violence. We pray that those injured will have a complete and speedy recovery.

“Our embassy personnel in Amman are providing consular assistance and are working with Jordanian officials in this tragic situation.

“This is a sad reminder of the very real threat of terrorism around the globe and of the need to continue working closely with trusted allies such as Jordan to help prevent horrific attacks of this nature. The people of Canada stand in solidarity with all Jordanians during this difficult time.

“The Government of Canada will not comment further at this time out of respect for the family.”
Still no claim of responsibility as of this post ...