AMMAN: Jordan said on Saturday four people were killed during a police raid on a house sheltering militants suspected of being behind a bomb attack on a police van. Security forces stormed a building in the city of Salt where suspects behind the planting of the home-made bomb that killed one policeman on Friday were believed to be hiding as part of the manhunt. Government spokeswoman Jumana Ghuneimat says suspects rigged a building with explosives and detonated them when police raided it. Ghuneimat initially said one officer was killed, but later updated the death toll to four.
Twenty people were also injured, when a building collapsed during the raid, according to Al-Arabiya. The security forces eventually arrested three suspects, Ghuneimat said, adding that the operation in Salt was still “ongoing”. Salt lies a few kilometers north of Al-Fuhais, a mostly Christian town. Ghneimat said that the security forces raided the house in Salt after receiving a tip-off. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Friday’s bomb blast and the identity of the suspects in Salt was not immediately known.
The Interior Ministry said 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, 12 kilometers (8 miles) west of the capital.
“It killed Sergeant Ali Adnan Qawqaza and wounded six other members of the patrol,” the ministry said, adding that an investigation was underway into the cause of the blast. Security forces had been deployed to protect the town’s annual festival, which hosts prominent Arab music acts. Prime Minister Omar Al-Razzaz vowed that Jordan would “not be complacent in the hunt for terrorists”. “Jordan will always be at the forefront of the fight against terrorism and obscurantist ideas which target the lives of innocents and try to undermine security and stability,” he said in remarks carried by the official Petra news agency. Jordan has played a key role in the US-led coalition fighting Daesh in neighboring Syria and Iraq, using its air force and allowing coalition forces to use its bases. The Kingdom was hit by a string of militant attacks in 2016, including a suicide bombing in June that killed seven guards near the border with Syria that was claimed by Daesh. Months later in December a shooting rampage, also claimed by Daesh, killed 10 people including a Canadian tourist.