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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 September 2006, 07:09 GMT 08:09 UK
UK tourist speaks of gun terror
Police officer
The authorities believe the gunman acted alone
A British tourist has spoken of the terrifying gun attack that left her wounded and another Briton dead.

A gunman killed Christopher Stokes, 30, and injured five other tourists in the Jordanian capital Amman.

The shooting happened at the Roman amphitheatre, and the gunman was arrested soon afterwards.

Injured Briton Karen Sparke said she had had a "lucky escape", initially thinking a firecracker had gone off but finding herself drenched in blood.

As well as the two British women injured, tourists from New Zealand, the Netherlands and Australia were also hurt.

The attack coming after the suicide bombs that killed 60 people in November is a reminder that Jordan is not immune from the violence affecting the region.

Jordan map

Ms Sparke, from Salisbury, who survived the attack, told the BBC that after initially thinking some sort of firework had gone off she turned around and saw a man pointing a gun at the group.

"I don't remember much about it," she said. "Just that I was shot and as I looked my other friends were on the floor laying down, and then I went up the steps a bit further and stood round the corner and then realised that I was bleeding all over."

Swathed in bandages, the Briton said she had difficulty moving her arm.

The gunman is being questioned and the Jordanian authorities have said they will not let the incident affect tourism.

A government spokesman Nasser Judeh said it appeared the attack was an "individual act" and that the gunmen had "no links with domestic or foreign" terrorist groups, the Associated Press reported.


The man has been named as Nabil Ahmed Issa Jaourah, 38, who officials say comes from a village just outside Zarqa, a centre for Islamist militants, and once the home of dead al-Qaeda in Iraq leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Eyewitnesses said the attacker approached the tourists shouting "God is great" in Arabic before firing at least 12 shots at the small group of tourists.

When his ammunition ran out, the gunman fled into the crowds before being arrested, eyewitnesses said.

As well as the tourists, a member of the local tourist police was injured.

British tourists visiting Jordan are warned by the UK Foreign Office of a "high threat of terrorism", with Westerners being a particular target.

Jordan's tourist trade has been badly hit by reaction to the conflict in Lebanon, although tour operators say it remains popular with more adventurous travellers.

How tourists have reacted to the news

Q&A: Jordan gun attack
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12 Jun 06 |  Middle East
Ambivalence in Zarqawi hometown
08 Jun 06 |  Middle East
Country profile: Jordan
29 Aug 06 |  Country profiles

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