In breaking news Monday, a police officer from Jordan has shot and killed two Americans, a South African and two Jordanians at a U.S.-funded camp for training Iraqi and Palestinian forces, and then was shot by security forces, according to a U.S. defense source. There were also unconfirmed reports that at least three other U.S. service personnel were wounded in the attack.
Update: The shooting took place at the Jordan International Police Training Center in Amman, where Jordanian and foreign instructors work to train police officers from the Palestine and other parts of the Arab world.
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The unnamed Jordanian officer opened fire, killing the two Americans and a South African contractor before being shot dead, Momani said. The two Jordanians were critically wounded in the shooting and died in the hospital, he said.
According to information from a senior official in the Public Security Department, the shooter has been identified as Anwar Abu Zaid, a captain in the Jordan police force.
The Jordan shooting spree occurred at a training camp Muaqar on the outskirts of the Jordanian capital Amman.
No information about the identity or motives of the Jordanian officer involved in the mass shooting is currently available.
Jordan is a U.S. ally and part of the Middle East coalition fighting Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, both of which share extensive borders with Jordan.
Of note, Jordan is currently hosting several hundred U.S. trainers to bolster the kingdom’s defense and assist regional allies. The country also permits the stationing of U.S. F16 fighters, which fly missions against Islamic State positions in Syria.
Disquiet among some Jordanians
Jordan’s growing role in the war against Islamic State is increasingly worrying to Jordanians concerned regarding instability in their neighbors, and they say that their growing role in the U.S.-led campaign could lead to attacks by Islamists.
Jordan’s King Abdullah has stated that extremist jihadists represent an existentialist threat to the kingdom, and must be fought and killed down to the last man.
Monday’s Jordan shooting took place on the 10th anniversary of the al Qaeda suicide bombings that hit three luxury hotels on Amman, resulting in the deaths of scores of people in the worst terrorist attack ever in Jordan.