KARAK, Jordan, Dec. 18 (UPI) — A Canadian female visitor, four police officers and two civilians were killed Sunday in gun attacks in and near the Jordan city of Karak that targeted tourists and police, officials said.
Gunmen shot at police in three locations: an ancient castle, a house and a police station, a statement by Jordan’s Public Security Directorate said.
The gunman who was holed up in the Crusader castle opened fire on Karak police, “wounding several policemen and passersby,” the statement added.
Several tourists were taken hostage, according to the BBC.
“Police and security forces have surrounded the castle and its vicinity and launched an operation to hunt down the gunmen,” the statement said, noting the officers were still engaged with five or six assailants.
A police patrol first received reports of a house fire in Qatraneh in the Al-Karak district, about 25 miles from Karak, the statement said. Two police officers were wounded and the gunmen then fled into the city.
In another attack, fighters fired on a security patrol in Al-Karak but no one was injured, a statement by Jordan’s Public Security Directorate said.
No group has admitted carrying out the attacks.
Jordan is a leading member of the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group in neighboring Iraq and Syria.