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3 American trainers killed outside Jordan air force base

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Posted at 6:19 AM, Nov 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-04 12:03:19-04

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Three American trainers were killed on Friday in an exchange of gunfire at the gates of an air base in southern Jordan, the military said.

U.S. officials said they had little information about the incident in Jordan, a key U.S. ally and member of a U.S-led military coalition fighting the extremist Islamic State group, which controls parts of neighboring Iraq and Syria.

The Pentagon said the Americans were attacked at about noon local time as they approached the gate to a training facility. The Jordanian military, which first announced the shooting, said shots were fired as a car carrying the U.S. trainers tried to enter the al-Jafr base near the southern Jordanian town of Mann. In addition to the U.S. casualties, a Jordanian officer was also wounded, Jordanian officials said.

It was not immediately clear what prompted the shooting.

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

The wounded were evacuated to King Hussein Hospital in Amman, the Pentagon said in a statement.

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 would be of great concern.