Jordanian security forces said they killed four “terrorist outlaws” after flushing them out of a castle in the southern city of Karak where they had holed up after a shoot-out that killed nine people.
A Canadian tourist was among those killed amid gunfire between police and the armed men who took the hostages in a Crusader-era castle.
Other tourists are believed to have been taken hostage inside, police and security officials said.
Four Jordanian police were killed when the group of gunmen went on a shooting spree in the city before taking refuge in the castle, a police statement said.
Between four and six gunmen continued to fire at police from the castle, a popular tourist spot, as special forces rushed to the scene from surrounding areas, a security source told Reuters.
As many as 14 tourists were reported to have been freed as police stormed the castle.
Prime Minister Hani al-Mulki told parliament "a number of security personnel" had been killed and that security forces were laying siege to the castle.
Police said gunmen shot at officers patrolling the city before entering the castle, perched on top of a hill.
An official statement said the four assailants, who shot at police targets in the town before heading to the Crusader-era castle, carried automatic weapons. Large quantities of explosives, weapons and suicide belts were seized in a hideout, it added.
The statement made no mention of their identity or whether they belonged to any militant group.
The Foreign Office has advised British nationals in the area to follow the instructions of the Jordanian authorities.
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