At Least Three Militants, Four Security Personnel in Jordan Killed in Raid After Bomb Attack

A building was partially blown-up when security forces stormed a building where suspects behind the planting of the home-made bomb that killed one policeman on Friday were believed to be hiding

Security forces are seen near a damaged building one day after the security incident, at the city of Al Salt, Jordan, August 11, 2018.
Muhammad Hamed/Reuters

Security forces on Sunday pulled the bodies of three suspected militants out of a partially collapsed building in a city in central Jordan following a shoot out, a government spokeswoman said.

Security forces had raided the building in a search for those responsible for a bomb attack on a police van on Friday that was maintaining security near a music festival.

Jordan reported on Saturday that four security personnel were killed during the raid when the suspects refused to hand themselves over to the security forces and blew up part of the hilltop building.

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Government spokeswoman Jumana Ghunaimat told the state news agency Petra that three suspects had been arrested so far in an operation that was still underway against a cell hiding in a building in the center of hillside Salt city, about 30 km (18 miles) west of Amman.

An ambulance and a Jordanian police car is seen one day after the security incident, at the city of Al Salt, Jordan, August 11, 2018.
Muhammad Hamed/Reuters

Later Ghunaimat said security forces were moving to seize the site and see if there were any civilians held hostage.

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.

Police had earlier blamed a gas canister for Friday’s blast near the site of a music festival in the town of Fuheis.

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. 

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.

Jordanian police cars are seen one day after the security incident at the city of Al Salt, Jordan, August 11, 2018.
Muhammad Hamed/Reuters

Militants from Al-Qaida and other radical jihadist groups have long targeted the U.S.-allied kingdom and dozens of militants are currently serving long prison terms.

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.

Security forces have been extra vigilant since the start of this year with warnings that sympathisers of Islamic State could launch revenge attacks after the militants were driven out of most of the territory they once controlled in Syria and Iraq.

King Abdullah, a Middle East ally of Western powers against Islamist militancy who has also safeguarded Jordan’s peace treaty with Israel, has been among the most vocal leaders in the region in warning of threats posed by radical groups.

Jordan plays a prominent role in the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State, providing military, logistical and intelligence support, according to Western diplomats and regional intelligence sources.