RELIGION

Jordan dismisses 15 mosque preachers in wake of IS attack

FILE -- In this Dec. 19, 2016 file photo, Jordanian security forces patrol in front of Karak Castle, where 10 people were killed on Dec. 18, 2016, in the central town of Karak, about 140 kilometers (87 miles) south of the capital Amman, Jordan. The recent Islamic State shooting rampage at Karak Castle, a popular tourism site in Jordan, could signal a more aggressive campaign by the extremist group to destabilize the pro-Western kingdom. A senior security official says members of the Karak cell, who were killed during the attack, had planned New Year’s Eve attacks in Jordan, using five explosives belts. Jordan’s government tries to allay concerns, saying its security forces can contain any threat. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)

FILE -- In this Dec. 19, 2016 file photo, Jordanian security forces patrol in front of Karak Castle, where 10 people were killed on Dec. 18, 2016, in the central town of Karak, about 140 kilometers (87 miles) south of the capital Amman, Jordan. The recent Islamic State shooting rampage at Karak Castle, a popular tourism site in Jordan, could signal a more aggressive campaign by the extremist group to destabilize the pro-Western kingdom. A senior security official says members of the Karak cell, who were killed during the attack, had planned New Year’s Eve attacks in Jordan, using five explosives belts. Jordan’s government tries to allay concerns, saying its security forces can contain any threat. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)  (The Associated Press)

Jordan's Religious Affairs Ministry says it has dismissed 15 mosque preachers and is disciplining seven for refusing to pray for the souls of Jordanian troops killed in recent gun battles with Islamic militants.

Eleven members of the security forces were killed Dec. 18 and 20 in the Jordanian province of Karak. A Canadian tourist and two Jordanian civilians were also killed, along with five gunmen. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the initial attack.

The ministry statement, published in Jordanian media Tuesday, did not say why the preachers refused to comply with a nationwide call to hold memorial prayers following the attacks.

Some mosque preachers in Jordan are followers of an ultraconservative stream of Islam that also serves as the ideological foundation of IS.