At least ten people, including a woman visiting from Canada, were killed Sunday in Jordan when gunmen ambushed police and carried out a series of attacks, including at a Crusader-era castle.
A standoff between Jordanian special forces and the assailants holed up inside the castle in Karak lasted several hours after the first shooting.
According to BBC News, several tourists were trapped inside, however they reportedly were freed and police stormed into the castle.
At least 27 additional people have been wounded, with some reports putting the figure much higher.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks in and near the central town of Karak, about 87 miles south of the capital, Amman.
The chain of events began when a police patrol received reports of a house fire in the town of Qatraneh in the Karak district, said a statement by Jordan’s Public Security Directorate.
The officers responding to the call came under fire from inside the house, the statement said. Two policemen were wounded and the assailants fled in a car, it said.
In another attack, gunmen fired on a security patrol in Karak, causing no injuries, the statement said.
Armed men also opened fire on a police station in Karak Castle, a Crusader fort, wounding members of the security forces. The statement said five or six gunmen were believed to be holed up inside the castle.
In all, four members of the security forces and a female tourist from Canada were killed in the shootings, though it was not clear if all five were killed at the castle.
The shootings were the latest in a series of attacks that have challenged the pro-Western kingdom’s claim to be an oasis of calm in a region threatened by Islamic extremists.
The killing of the Canadian tourist could further hurt Jordan’s embattled tourism sector, which has declined sharply since the Islamic State group seized large parts of neighboring Syria and Iraq two years ago.
Jordan faces homegrown extremism, with hundreds of Jordanians fighting alongside other Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria and several thousand more supporting the extremist group in the kingdom. Jordan is a key U.S. ally, and a member of a U.S.-led military coalition fighting IS.
Over the past year, gunmen have carried out several attacks on members of the Jordanian security forces and foreign trainers. Earlier this year, Jordanian security forces engaged in a deadly shootout with suspected IS sympathizers in a northern Jordanian town.
In the most recent incident, three U.S. military members were killed in a shooting outside an air base in southern Jordan in November. The three were in Jordan on a training mission, and came under fire while driving into the base.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.