Iraqi terrorist kills UK tourist wounds 5 others at Jordanian tourist site -shouted Allahu Akhbar before opening fire
September 4, 2006
Gunman kills 1, wounds 6 Jordan tourists
By JAMAL HALABY
AMMAN, Jordan -- A gunman opened fire on tourists at the Roman Amphitheater in Jordan's capital on Monday, killing a British man and wounding six other people, including a police officer, officials said.
Police overpowered and arrested the gunman at the scene, government spokesman Nasser Judeh said. It was the first major terror attack in Jordan since triple hotel blasts in the capital that killed 63 people, including three suicide bombers.
Interior Minister Eid al-Fayez said a British man was killed, while two British women, a Dutch man, an Australian woman, a New Zealand woman and a police officer were injured.
"This is a cowardly terrorist attack, which we regret took place on Jordanian soil," al-Fayez told reporters at the scene. "This operation is considered a terrorist act unless the man is found to be deranged," he said. He said the gunman was being interrogated.
Judeh declined to say if the assailant was believed to be linked to any known terror organization.
"The investigation is under way and it's still early to tell," he told The Associated Press.
Jordan - a key U.S. ally - has been the site of a series of attacks targeting Westerners and their haunts. Authorities say they have foiled a number of militant plots.
The worst attack, a triple triple suicide bombing at hotels in Amman in November, killed 60 people, including many Arabs. The attack was carried out by three suicide bombers working for al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-ZarqawiAuthorities put more metal detectors and police patrols around tourist attractions and hotels across the kingdom after the bombings.
The gunman in Monday's daylight attack shot the tourists just outside the secured entrance of the amphitheater, a popular attraction in Amman's bustling downtown district.
The man, clean-shaven and appearing to be his mid-30s, shouted "God is great!" before firing several shots at them, said an Iraqi witness, Mohammad Jawad Ali.
The area in which the attack occurred is frequented by low-income and unemployed Jordanians and Iraqis in a district populated by conservative Muslims.
In May 2004, a member of the Jordanian security forces opened fire on a group of Israelis crossing the border. No one was injured and police said the man was deranged.
In November 2003, a gunman with no known terrorist links, opened fire at the southern Jordan-Israel border crossing north of Aqaba, wounding five people and killing a tourist.
Associated Press writers Dale Gavlak and Shafika Mattar in Amman reported to this story.