8 tourists stabbed in Jor­dan knife at­tack

The Korea Times - - WORLD -

AM­MAN (AP) — A young man from a Pales­tinian refugee camp on Wednes­day stabbed eight peo­ple, in­clud­ing four for­eign tourists and their tour guide, at a pop­u­lar ar­chae­o­log­i­cal site in north­ern Jor­dan, se­cu­rity of­fi­cials said.

The sus­pect’s fam­ily iden­ti­fied him as Mustafa Abu Tuameh. They said the 22-year-old was not a mem­ber of an or­ga­nized mil­i­tant group and be­lieved he had acted alone. But they said he had re­cently be­come very re­li­gious, was very poor and ap­par­ently planned to die dur­ing his at­tack.

“To­day he told his mother that he has only 35 pi­asters (50 cents) and he was go­ing out and might not come back,” said an un­cle, You­nis Abu Am­rah.

The in­ci­dent in Jerash, one of the coun­try’s most vis­ited des­ti­na­tions, threat­ened to cast a shadow over the vi­tal tourism in­dus­try.

The wounded in­cluded three

Mex­i­can tourists and a Swiss woman, ac­cord­ing to Jor­dan’s Pub­lic Se­cu­rity of­fice. Along with the tour guide, three other Jor­da­ni­ans, in­clud­ing two se­cu­rity of­fi­cers and a bus driver, were also hurt be­fore the at­tacker was sub­dued and ar­rested.

The of­fice said two peo­ple, a Mex­i­can woman and a Jor­da­nian se­cu­rity of­fi­cer, were in se­ri­ous con­di­tion and air­lifted to a hos­pi­tal in the cap­i­tal, Am­man, by he­li­copter. Jerash is roughly 60 kilo­me­ters (40 miles) north of the cap­i­tal.

Brent Pelkey, an Amer­i­can tourist who wit­nessed the stab­bing, said the at­tack came out of nowhere on what ap­peared to be a nor­mal day.

“I look ahead and I see a guy in a black suit run­ning to­ward a group of tourists and he doesn’t look like he has the best of in­ten­tions,” Pelkey said. “Next thing I see is some tourists run­ning around, some scream­ing, and the next thing I see is a few on the ground.”

He said he saw a woman bleed­ing “pro­fusely” from the side of her body. He moved closer and said he saw three other peo­ple bleed­ing on the ground “and ob­vi­ously in some pretty se­ri­ous pain” and then an­other per­son who looked like a park worker or guide also down.

Jor­dan’s for­eign min­is­ter, Ay­man Safadi, said he called his Swiss coun­ter­part and Mex­ico’s deputy for­eign min­is­ter to tell them the king­dom was pro­vid­ing med­i­cal treat­ment to those “in­jured in the hor­ri­ble stab­bing crime.” He said he as­sured them that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was un­der­way.

Later Wednes­day, Jor­dan’s health min­is­ter said all of the wounded were in sta­ble con­di­tion, and none had life-threat­en­ing in­juries.

Mex­ico’s for­eign min­is­ter, Marcelo Ebrard, tweeted: “The Jor­da­nian gov­ern­ment has sup­ported us through­out this.”


A Mex­i­can woman, wounded dur­ing a knife at­tack at the famed arche­o­log­i­cal site of Jerash in north­ern Jor­dan, is pic­tured in the Jerash Gov­ern­ment Hos­pi­tal, Wednes­day.

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