The Jordanian security forces announced an end to the five-hour-long siege at a medieval castle in the southern city of Karak after taking down the attackers. Including the four "terrorist outlaws" who were killed in the standoff, there were 14 deaths in the incident.

An official statement from the government said the assailants were carrying automatic weapons while a large cache of explosives and suicide vests have also been seized. The attackers shot down 10 people, including a Canadian tourist, before heading to a historic hilltop castle. At least 28 others were injured, some seriously, in the shootout.

The building was one of the complete Crusader castles remaining in the world and a major tourist destination.

"As soon as they reached the area, unknown gunmen who were inside the house opened fire on the patrol, wounding a policeman, and then fled by car. Shortly afterwards, gunmen opened fire on another patrol without causing any casualties," said the security forces in a statement.

It is still unclear whether the gunmen belong to any particular extremist group or they are tribal outlaws wanting to mount an attack against the government. The militants were both Jordanians and non-Jordanian Arabs.

There is still no confirmation whether the Islamic State (Isis), which controls large areas in neighbouring Syria and Iraq, has a hand in the onslaught.

"When we are in a region engulfed with fire from every side, you expect that such events happen," said government minister and spokesperson Mohammed al-Momani. However, Jordan has experienced relatively less impact of the ongoing conflict in the violence-plagued Middle East region compared to its neighbours.

Even when the counter-terror operations were on, several images began to surface showing residents in Karak arming up with heavy weapons to assist the security forces. This is despite the announcement urging the residents to flee the area owing to the intensifying security measures.