Jordan official says 3 police killed in raid

Blanche Robertson
August 12, 2018

Security forces in Salt, Jordan, raiding a suspected terrorist hideout on August 11, 2018. It raised new concerns about attempts by domestic and foreign terrorists to carry out attacks and destabilize the pro-Western kingdom.

Earlier, Jordan's Interior Ministry announced that the bomb that went off late Friday was planted in an area where a police vehicle usually stops during an ongoing music festival in the town of Fuheis.

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. A wing of the building collapsed.

Jordan has played a key role in the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group in neighbouring Syria and Iraq, using its air force against the militants and allowing coalition forces to use its bases.

Several incidents over the past few years have jolted the Arab kingdom, which has been comparatively unscathed by the uprisings, civil wars and Islamist militancy that have swept the Middle East since 2011. The attack on Saturday killed a security man and injured six others, Saudi Press Agency said.

"The suspects and the special police force engaged in heavy fire and they eventually detonated the building and most of it collapsed".

"Following intense and delicate investigations, a special force chose to raid a building in Salt governorate that was believed to be occupied by the suspects", Ghunaimat told The Jordan Times.

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Flights out of Sea-Tac, the largest commercial airport in the Pacific Northwest, were temporarily grounded during the drama. They said F-15 fighter jets were scrambled from Portland and "made it within a few minutes of theft of plane".

Meanwhile, officials at Al Salt Government Hospital said dozens of people were rushed to the hospital by ambulances suffering from various injuries.

Prime Minister Omar Al-Razzaz vowed that Jordan would "not be complacent in the hunt for terrorists".

Ghneimat said that the security forces raided the house in Salt after receiving a tip-off.

Jordan earlier this year said it had foiled an Islamic State plot that included plans for a series of attacks last November on security installations, shopping malls and moderate religious figures, state media reported. It arrested the suspects.

Jordan has been a target for attacks by Islamic State in recent years.

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

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