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Tourists among several people stabbed near Roman ruins in Jordan's Jerash

A 22-year-old man was arrested after three Mexicans, one Swiss and four Jordanians were wounded in the popular tourist destination
A tourist who was injured in the stabbing is brought into the King Hussein Medical Center in Amman (Reuters)

Three Mexicans, one Swiss and four Jordanians have been wounded in a stabbing in the Jordanian city of Jerash on Wednesday, Jordan's minister of health has said.

A spokesman for the public security directorate said in a statement: "Around noon, a man attacked tourists, a tour guide and a security officer who tried to stop him in Jerash.

"The wounded were transported to hospital for treatment" and "the assailant was immediately arrested," he added.

Jordan's health minister Saad Fayez Jaber told Reuters news agency that four of those injured had moderate to serious wounds while the other four had light ones. 

Jaber later told state news agency Petra that those seriously wounded were now stable and that at least four of them would probably be discharged on Thursday, Reuters reported. 

Police said the suspect was 22-year old Mohammad Abu Touaima, who lives on the outskirts of the city that is near a Palestinian refugee camp known for unemployment among its youth population.

"I was about to have a heart attack," the suspect's father, Mahmoud, 56, told Reuters television. "My son was a loser and his mind was twisted, but he was scared of even slaughtering a baby chick. I am shocked he did this."

Video of Wednesday's incident that circulated on Jordanian media appeared to show victims speaking Spanish with Latin American accents.

Four of those injured had moderate to serious wounds while the other four had light ones, Jordan's health minister Saad Fayez Jaber told Reuters news agency, without elaborating further.

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Jerash, located around 50km from the capital Amman, is famed for its Roman ruins and popular with foreign visitors.

Videos posted on social media showed a bleeding woman lying on the floor and another panic-stricken woman in a blood-stained T-shirt.

Jordan has seen a surge in tourism in the last two years and is considered by tour operators to be one of the safest tourist destinations in the Middle East. 

It has rarely seen attacks on foreign tourists, although 10 people were killed and 30 were wounded in an incident in December 2016 in the city of Karak, which is home to one of the region's biggest Crusader castles.

The operation was claimed by the Islamic State group, with ten people ultimately sentenced for the attack.