Published: Sun, August 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Jordan official says 3 police killed in raid

Jordan official says 3 police killed in raid

In initial statements late Saturday, government spokeswoman Jumana Ghuneimat said three members of the security forces were killed and that five suspects were in custody.

Jordan has played a key role in an global military coalition that helped push back the extremist group Islamic State in neighboring Syria and Iraq.

The Hala Akhbar news website linked to Jordan's military said on Sunday that the suspects are Jordanians and that the cell planned to attack security installations and other sensitive targets.

She said the militants were sought in connection with Friday night's bombing that killed a police sergeant and wounded six others in the town of Al-Fuhais west of Amman.

Ambulances were seen rushing to the main city hospital from near the building in a residential area of Salt that was sealed off by police, Reuters reported.

Militants from Islamic State and other radical jihadist groups have long targeted the USA -allied Jordan and dozens of militants are now serving long prison terms.

Security forces gather near a damaged building at the city of Salt, Jordan, August 12, 2018.

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Militants from al Qaeda and other radical jihadist groups have long targeted the US-allied kingdom and dozens of militants are now serving long prison terms.

Witnesses heard several strong explosions near the site which a security source said were explosives being detonated by the police as they closed in on the militants.

It was unclear how many people were hiding in the three-storey building. "The operation is still ongoing with thoughtful steps to make sure that no civilians are threatened".

"The building in which the terrorist cell was found is about to fall and will be demolished to prevent a sudden collapse", Ghunaimat added.

The blast, labeled a "terrorist" attack by Jordan's prime minister, killed a police officer.

The United States "strongly condemned" the attacks against Jordanian security forces in Al-Fuhais and in Salt, in a statement released Sunday by its Amman embassy. It arrested the suspects.

Intelligence officials and some experts believe widening social disparities and a perception of widespread official corruption is fuelling a rise in radicalisation among disaffected youths in a country with high unemployment and growing poverty.

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