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Jordan arrests man suspected of funding Karak attack

AFP , Wednesday 21 Dec 2016
People walk inside a building that was the site of clashes between Jordanian police and Islamist militant gunmen in the village of Garifla, in Karak, Jordan, December 21, 2016 (Photo: Reuters)
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Jordanian security forces have arrested a man suspected of funding an attack by the Islamic State (IS) militant group that killed 10 people including a Canadian tourist, a security source said Wednesday.

The suspect was detained in a raid on a house in Karak province on Tuesday by police looking for the perpetrators behind Sunday's shooting rampage, official news agency Petra quoted the source as saying.

The suspect "admitted to ties with the terrorist cell that targeted security forces and civilians" on Sunday "and to buying weapons and funding the cell," the source said.

Another suspect and four policemen were killed in Tuesday's shootout between gunmen and security forces at the house in Karak's Qarifla area.

Jordanian television showed footage of the house, with walls riddled by bullets.

Sunday's attack in Karak, home to one of the region's biggest Crusader castles, killed seven policemen and two Jordanian civilians as well as a female Canadian tourist.

Four assailants were killed by the security forces after an hours-long siege of the castle, where the suspects had fled after opening fire on police.

The security source said the investigation into the attack was ongoing.

IS on Tuesday claimed responsibility, saying it was carried out by four "soldiers of the caliphate" who used machineguns and hand grenades.

A statement said the assault targeted Jordanian "apostate" security forces and citizens of the US-led coalition battling the Islamist militants in Syria and Iraq.

Jordan is part of the alliance and has carried out air strikes targeting IS. It also hosts coalition troops on its territory.

King Abdullah II on Wednesday met US Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley to discuss extremism and terrorism in the region, a palace statement said.

Maaz al-Kassasbeh, a Jordanian fighter pilot from Karak, was captured by IS when his plane went down in Syria in December 2014, and he was later burned alive in a cage.

Sunday's attack in Kerak has dealt another blow to the country's vital tourism sector, which had already suffered from the 2011 Arab uprisings and conflict in neighbouring Iraq and Syria.

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