Jordan's interior minister lost his job yesterday after criticism following a deadly militant attack, in a government reshuffle that also saw long-serving foreign minister Nasser Judeh cast aside.
Ten people including a Canadian were shot dead at the popular Jordanian tourist destination of Karak on Dec. 18, in an attack claimed by the Daesh militant group. Following the attack, some 50 lawmakers called for a motion to censure interior minister Salama Hammad.
Prime Minister Hani Mulqi said, in a statement from the royal palace yesterday, that Hammad was being replaced by Ghaleb Zohbi, a lawyer who had previously held the same post. The same statement announced that Judeh, who had served as foreign minister since 2009, was making way for Ayman Safadi, formerly an adviser to the king and deputy prime minister. It did not say why the ministers were being replaced. It is the second reshuffle since September 28.
Last month's attack in Karak, home to one of the region's biggest Crusader castles, killed seven policemen and two Jordanian civilians as well as a female Canadian tourist. Four assailants were killed by the security forces after an hours-long siege of the castle, where the suspects had fled after opening fire on police. Jordan is part of the US-led military coalition against Daesh and has carried out air strikes targeting the militant group. It also hosts coalition troops on its territory.
The kingdom was hit by four attacks last year, including a suicide attack in June that killed seven guards near the border with Syria that was also claimed by Daesh.