Jordanian policemen killed in shootout near site of castle attack | News | DW | 20.12.2016
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Jordanian policemen killed in shootout near site of castle attack

Several policemen have died following a shootout with fugitives near the town of Karak. The country is still reeling from an earlier attack this past weekend.

Jordanien Sicherheitskräfte ARCHIV (Getty Images/AFP/K. Mazraawi)

Jordanian security forces seen during an operation in March

Four policemen were killed after authorities exchanged gunfire with wanted men in a house near where at least 10 people died during an attack over the weekend.

Police officers had surrounded the house outside the town of Karak in order to arrest the fugitives holed up inside when they came under fire. The gunmen had not been involved in the attacks from earlier this week, state news agency Petra reported.

One local newspaper reported that the police had arrested two men. It was not immediately clear how many fugitives were inside the house during the time of the shootout.

Earlier, the so-called "Islamic State" (IS) terrorist group had claimed responsibility for the attacks this past weekend that had left at least 10 people dead.

Jordanien getöteteter Polizist Saed Mayateh Beisetzung (Reuters/M. Hamed)

A scene from the funeral for one of the officers killed during Sunday's attack

Hostage crisis

The incident occurred on Sunday when gunmen stormed a Crusade-era citadel in Karak, which is south of the Jordanian capital of Amman.

In addition to those killed, at least 29 were injured when the attackers took those inside the castle hostage. Prime Minister Hani al-Mulki said later that a number of security personnel had also been killed by the gunmen. After storming the castle, police managed to kill four gunmen.

The violent episode spawned fears of further attacks in the Middle Eastern country, a close ally of the United States that has taken part in air strikes in Syria.

On Sunday, government spokesman Mohammed al-Momani said Jordan's geographic position put it at risk of terrorist attacks. "When we are in a region engulfed with fire from every side, you expect that such events happen," he said.

blc/rc (AP, dpa)

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