Middle East

Jordan attack: Knifeman stabs eight, including tourists, in Jerash

A view of the scene where four foreign tourists were attacked Image copyright AFP
Image caption Jerash is famous for its Roman remains

A knifeman has injured four foreign tourists and four locals in an attack in the Jordanian city of Jerash.

Three Mexicans and a Swiss national were among the wounded. One of the Mexicans and a Jordanian tour guide were hurt seriously, the health minister said.

The suspected attacker was arrested nearby by police.

Jerash, home to a well-preserved ancient Roman site, draws thousands of foreign visitors every year.

Videos on social media show one woman lying bleeding on the ground and another woman in a blood-stained shirt.

Jordan's health minister, Saed Jaber, told reporters that all the injured were taken to a local hospital within 15 minutes. The Mexican tourist and Jordanian tour guide injured seriously were then taken to a separate hospital by helicopter and underwent surgery.

"The bleeding was stopped, the situation has been controlled, and both cases are stable," Mr Jaber said.

An American tourist, Marco Junipero Serra, told the BBC the person who had carried out the attack was dressed all in black and had his face covered with a mask.

The attacker jumped a fence at the site at around 11:00 (09:00 GMT) and began stabbing people indiscriminately, Mr Serra said.

According to him, police did not lock down the site during the incident, and people were still free to walk in and out.

One of those injured was Ali El Agrabawi, the driver of a tourist bus. At Jerash hospital he told reporters he had been stabbed while trying to stop the assailant from entering a cafeteria full of tourists.

Jordan, viewed as a relatively safe destination, heavily depends on its tourism industry.

According to country's tourism board, the country is home to 21,000 archaeological and historical sites.

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