Jordan's king vows 'iron fist' response to security threats

AP News
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Posted: Dec 21, 2016 3:55 PM

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordan will respond with an "iron fist" to those threatening its security, King Abdullah II said Wednesday after a series of attacks on police and tourists this week left 14 people dead.

The extremist group Islamic State has claimed responsibility for some of the shootings, including a gun battle at a Crusader castle popular with foreign visitors. In all, 11 members of the security forces, two Jordanian civilians and a Canadian tourist have been killed in clashes this week. Five gunmen were also killed.

The violent has shaken Jordan and raised new concerns about the threat of homegrown Islamic extremism. The pro-Western kingdom is a key member of a U.S.-led military coalition against IS which controls parts of neighboring Iraq and Syria.

Jordan's king chaired a Cabinet meeting Wednesday to deal with the security situation. The state news agency Petra quoted him as saying that "we will respond with an iron fist to any attempts to tamper with the kingdom's security."

The meeting was held one day after four police officers were killed during an ambush at a militants' hideout in the central Karak province, also the scene of the earlier shootings.

Witness Rami al-Maaytah said Wednesday that a man who led the police to the suspected hideout ran into the house and opened fire on the officers from the roof.