Jordan says 2 American trainers killed outside air force base

Posted at 9:19 AM, Nov 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-04 09:58:09-04

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Two American trainers were killed and a third was wounded on Friday in an exchange of gunfire at the gates of an air base in southern Jordan, the military said.

It was not immediately clear what prompted the shooting.

The shots were fired as a car carrying the trainers tried to enter the al-Jafr base near the southern Jordanian town of Mann, said the military. Two U.S. personnel were killed and third was wounded, the military said. A Jordanian officer was also wounded.

The U.S. Embassy in the Jordanian capital, Amman, said it had received reports about a security incident involving U.S. personnel and that it was in touch with Jordanian authorities.

Pro-Western Jordan is a key member of a U.S-led military coalition against the extremist Islamic State group, which controls parts of neighboring Iraq and Syria.

Jordan also faces homegrown extremism, with hundreds of Jordanians fighting alongside IS militants in Iraq and Syria and several thousand more supporting the extremist group in the kingdom.

Last November, a Jordanian police captain opened fire in an international police training facility, killing two Americans and three others. The government subsequently portrayed the police captain as troubled.

The United States has spent millions of dollars to help the kingdom fortify its borders. For the West, any sign of instability in Jordan, a key ally, would be of great concern.