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Jordan

Gunmen take several tourists hostage in Jordan castle

At least 10 people, including a Canadian tourist, have been killed in an attack in the southern Jordanian city of Karak. Jordan is "vulnerable" to violence from neighboring countries, said a government spokesman.

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Jordan: Gunmen fire on police and tourists

A Canadian tourist was among 10 people killed Sunday when armed gunmen men attacked a Crusader-era citadel in the city of Karak, south of the Jordanian capital, Amman.

Jordan's news website "Al-Ghad" said the four gunmen took at least 14 tourists hostage inside the castle. At least 10 people have been killed, including four policemen, while 29 have been injured in the attack

Following the attacks, Prime Minister Hani al-Mulki told parliament "a number of security personnel" had been killed and that security forces laid siege to the castle.

Government minister and spokesman Mohammed al-Momani said Jordan's position near conflict zones has made it vulnerable to spillover of violence.

"When we are in a region engulfed with fire from every side, you expect that such events happen," he said.

Earlier Sunday, Jordan's Public Security Directorate said that several gunmen had targeted a police vehicle outside Karak and then fled in a car to the town. The Directorate's statement said there were two separate shootings.

On Twitter, Canadian Foreign Minister Stephane Dion expressed his sympathies in response to the "heinous attack."

Unidentified assailants

Karak is a popular Jordanian tourist destination known for the largest Crusader-era castles in the region. It is situated 120 kilometers (70 miles) south of the capital, Amman.

Jordan is one of the few Arab states that have taken part in a US-led air campaign against the militant "Islamic State" group in Syria.

Jordanian authorities say radical Islamists have increased their activities in the country, but it is unclear whether Islamist militants were involved in Sunday attacks.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. The four assailants have not been identified by Jordanian authorities, suggesting it may have been an attack of vengeance against the state by tribal outlaws.

ls, shs, kbd/cmk  (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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