2 Americans Killed, 2 Injured in Shooting at Police Training Center in Jordan
Shooting victims were U.S. security contractors.
— -- A Jordanian policeman killed two U.S. contractors and left two other Americans injured in a shooting incident today at a police training center in Jordan..
A total of six people were killed in the attack, including a South African trainer, two Jordanians and the attacker. Four others were injured.
The shootings took place at the Jordan International Police Training Center in Muwaqqar, about 30 miles east of Amman. The facility is operated by the Jordanian government to train its national police force, but the U.S. State Department helps provide training to the Palestinian Security Forces.
The Jordanian Information Bureau said the gunman had been "killed at the scene by Jordanian police forces.”
A U.S. official said earlier the policeman had taken his own life after the shootings.
In a statement, the U.S. Embassy in Jordan confirmed that "two U.S. citizen trainers were killed and two wounded in a shooting incident today" at the training facility.
"We understand that a Jordanian employee and South African trainer were also killed and that additional Jordanian and Lebanese individuals were wounded" in the attack, according to the statement. "The investigation is on-going and it is premature to speculate on motive at this point. We are working closely with the Government of Jordan and local security services on a full and comprehensive investigation."
At a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House, President Obama said of the attack, "We take this very seriously and will be working closely with the Jordanians to determine exactly what happened. At this stage I want to just let everyone know that this is something we're paying close attention to and at the point where families have been notified. Obviously our deepest condolences will be going out to them."
A U.S. official told ABC News that the shooter was not one of the current students at the center, but a policeman who had been recently fired.
State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters that the four Americans were employees of McLean, Virginia-based DynCorp International.
A company statement confirmed that a gunman had opened fire "on personnel that included DynCorp International team members today. The company extends its thoughts and prayers to all involved and to their families and loved ones. Out of respect for their privacy, we will not be providing additional information at this time."
The Jordanian Information Bureau said, "An investigation in currently underway to determine the motive behind the shooting and the Embassy of Jordan will share updates with the media as they become available.”
A U.S. defense official said the shooting did not affect U.S. military personnel based in Jordan. The U.S. military has a presence inside Jordan, including a detachment of fighter aircraft to strike at ISIS, as well as a unit to assist Jordan with humanitarian assistance for Syrian refugees.
The United States helped establish the 560-acre Jordanian International Police Training Center in 2004 primarily as a facility to train Iraqi police. A State Department official said that 55,000 Iraqi policemen were trained at the facility from 2004 to 2007. When the program concluded the facility was turned over to the Jordanian government.
Since then, it has been used by the United States to train 14,000 members of the Palestinian Authority Security Forces as part of the effort to develop professional security forces in the West Bank.
It was also used to train several thousand Palestinian security forces as part of a security arrangement negotiated by the United States.
The State Department provides the training curriculum and provides a contracted-Mobile Training Team of about two dozen senior police and security mentors and monitors who oversee and advise the Jordanian instructors that train the Palestinian forces. The State Department official said the curriculum "focuses on combined police and paramilitary tactical training skills with an emphasis on human rights, integrity, leadership, management, and command and control training."
Jordan uses half of JIPTC to train its own national police, the Public Security Directorate. Jordan also has agreements with other countries in the region to make JIPTC available for training of their security forces.
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