Middle East

Jordan's police chief replaced after deadly IS attack

In this Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017 photo, tourists walk near the entrance to Karak Castle, Jordan. The recent Islamic State shooting rampage at Karak Castle, a popular tourism site in Jordan, where 10 people were killed, 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/Raad Adayleh).

In this Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017 photo, tourists walk near the entrance to Karak Castle, Jordan. The recent Islamic State shooting rampage at Karak Castle, a popular tourism site in Jordan, where 10 people were killed, 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/Raad Adayleh).  (The Associated Press)

State media in Jordan say King Abdullah II has replaced the head of public security in the wake of deadly shootings that rattled the kingdom and exposed its vulnerability to attacks by Islamic militants.

Jordan's security establishment has been criticized for its handling of the December shootings in the central Karak province that killed 11 officers and three civilians, including a Canadian tourist.

The extremist group Islamic State claimed responsibility for one of the attacks.

Jordanian media reported on Wednesday that a retired military officer, Maj. Gen. Ahmad Fatih, is replacing Maj. Gen. Atef al-Saudi as head of the Public Security Directorate..

They said the king urged the new police chief in a letter to improve the skills of those under his command so they can carry their duties effectively.