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Tourists attacked by knife-wielding man in Jordan


A lone attacker on Wednesday stabbed eight people, including four foreign tourists and their tour guide, at a popular archaeological site in northern Jordan.

Police said the victims were four Jordanians, three Mexican nationals, and one Swiss national. The identity of the attacker or his motives were not announced. He was later arrested by police.

The incident occurred at the ancient city of Jerash, about 50km (31 miles) north of the capital Amman, one of the country’s top tourist destinations.

Police spokesperson Amer Sartawi said in a statement “several tourists, a tourist’s guide and a police officer were stabbed” by a knife-wielding man in the city known for its Roman ruins.

“The victims have been transported to a hospital and are undergoing treatment,” Sartawi said.

Amateur video showed a bloody scene next to the Jerash archaeological site. In one video, a woman can be heard screaming in Spanish: “It’s a dagger, it’s a dagger, there is a knife. Please, help him now!”

One woman is seen lying on the ground with blood around her, as someone presses a towel to her back. Another man sits nearby with an apparent leg wound.

An official from the hospital in Jerash where the victims were admitted told Al Jazeera the victims’ conditions were not serious and all are in “stable”. The official who declined to be named because the case is still under investigation said.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Assaults on tourists in Jordan are rare, but the latest incident comes as the country has faced an economic crisis.

Last year, four security forces were killed in an attack attributed to groups linked to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS).

At least 10 people, including a Canadian tourist, were killed in a shooting in the city of Karak, about 120km (75 miles) south of Amman.

In 2006, a man shot and killed a British tourist and wounded several other Western tourists sightseeing around the Roman amphitheatre in downtown Amman.

The tourist sector has enjoyed a strong rebound over the past two years. Bengbenronews

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