4 security force members, 3 'terrorists' killed in Jordan raid
Amman, Aug 12 (AFP) Four members of the Jordanian security forces and three "terrorists" have been killed during a raid on a militant hideout after an officer died in a bomb blast near the capital, the government said today.
A joint unit of special forces, police and army troops raided a house in the town of Salt northwest of Amman in search of a suspected "terrorist cell", government spokeswoman Jumana Ghneimat said.
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.
"The suspects refused to surrender and opened heavy fire toward a joint security force," Ghneimat said yesterday.
They also "blew up the building in which they were hiding, and which they had booby-trapped earlier", she added.
A fourth who was critically wounded died of his injuries on Sunday, she added.
The bodies of three "terrorists" as well as automatic weapons were found under the rubble of the building, and a total of five militants were arrested during the operation, Ghneimat said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Friday's bomb blast in Al-Fuhais, a mostly Christian town, and the identities of the suspects were not known.
"A clean-up operation is still under way," Ghneimat said, adding that units of the civil defence were at the scene to assess the damage at the building and sift through the rubble.
Ghneimat urged civilians to stay away, warning that "it could totally collapse at any minute".
An excavator was later seen demolishing the structure.
Women and children were among those hurt, they said, without giving further details.
Ambulances, bulldozers and police cars were deployed around the building in the Naqab al-Dabour residential neighbourhood in Salt, television footage showed.
The government set up a crisis cell to follow the developments, the state-run Petra news agency reported.
Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz, who chaired the meeting, vowed yesterday that Jordan would "not be complacent in the hunt for terrorists".
The kingdom was hit by a string of attacks in 2016, including a shooting rampage claimed by IS that killed 10 people including a Canadian tourist in Karak, known for its Crusader castle.
"The United States stands in solidarity with Jordan in the face of these terrorist actions and emphasises our shared resolve to counter the plague of terrorism," the statement said. (AFP) SMJ
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