AMMAN • A Jordanian army officer shot dead two American military personnel and one South African and wounded six other people yesterday at a US-funded security training facility near Amman, Jordan's government spokesman said.
The US is in contact with Jordanian authorities about the incident, the US State Department said following the shooting. "We have received reports about a security incident at the Jordan International Police Training Centre. We are in contact with the appropriate Jordanian authorities, who have offered their full support," said department spokesman John Kirby in a statement.
Jordan's spokesman Mohammad Momani said the attacker was shot dead by Jordanian security forces; he did not commit suicide as security forces earlier reported. A Jordanian security source said the gunman was a senior co-trainer with the rank of captain.
The incident occurred in a facility that mainly trains Iraqi and Palestinian forces on the outskirts of the capital Amman. It took place on the 10th anniversary of Al-Qaeda suicide bombings that targeted three Amman luxury hotels and killed dozens in the worst militant attack in the history of Jordan, a staunch US ally.
Jordan is now part of the Washington-led coalition that is trying to defeat Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) insurgents who have seized large tracts of Syria and Iraq, both of which border Jordan.
The country hosts several hundred US trainers who are part of a military programme to bolster the kingdom's defences, including the stationing of F16 fighter jets that use Jordanian airfields to hit ISIS positions in neighbouring Syria.
But the kingdom's role in the war against ISIS has raised disquiet among some Jordanians about instability at their borders. They fear that Jordan's stepped-up role in the campaign might lead to Islamist attacks in their country.