AMMAN — Five tourists and a Jordanian were wounded overnight when a gunman opened fire on their bus in the Jordanian capital Amman.
Those wounded – four Lebanese members of an orchestra from the town of Kaslik, a Palestinian woman and the Jordanian bus driver — were not seriously hurt in the attack and were receiving treatment, said government spokesman and Information Minister Nasser Jawdeh.
The alleged attacker tried to commit suicide, Jawdeh added.
“He was seriously wounded and is receiving treatment,” he said.
Witnesses told AFP that an individual began shooting at the bus near the Roman amphitheatre in the city centre at around 11:00 pm (2000 GMT).
They said the attacker did not have a beard and did not appear to be an Islamic militant. He shot himself in the head when police tried to arrest him.
After the attack, police immediately sealed off the area.
Police also stopped journalists from approaching the Al-Bashir hospital in the east of the city, where the wounded were being treated.
Jawdeh insisted that the attack had been an isolated incident and played down any suggestion of a political element.
At the time of the attack, tourists were arriving to attend an evening of music at the amphitheatre, said witnesses.
The Lebanese-Jordanian event at which the orchestra was playing was not part of the Festival of Jordan, which has been surrounded by controversy.
A group of 14 Jordanian trade unions called for Arab and Jordanian singers to boycott the festival, saying the French company Publicis that organised it had also worked on the celebrations for Israel’s 60th anniversary earlier this year.
Both Publicis and the Jordanian government have denied the accusation.
It is the fourth attack on tourists in Jordan in the last two years.
In September 2006, a Briton was killed and five other tourists wounded in an attack by the Roman amphitheatre, and three months later a Dutch tourist was wounded.
In March 2008 a German tourist was wounded in an attack while he was walking in the centre of Amman.