Published: Sun, August 12, 2018

Jordanian security forces and militants in deadly clash

Jordanian security forces and militants in deadly clash

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.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz vowed that Jordan would "not be complacent in the hunt for terrorists".

The shootout in the city of Salt, northwest of the capital Amman, came after a home-made bomb exploded on Friday under a patrol vehicle at a music festival killing one security force member and wounding six others.

Security forces had seized automatic weapons in a "continuing operation", government spokeswoman Jumana Ghunaimat told Reuters.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Friday's bomb blast and the identity of the suspects in Salt was not immediately known.

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.

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

The monarch used the term used for radical groups such as Islamic State who declare Muslims they disagree with as apostates.

The clash late on Saturday was among the deadliest between suspected terrorists and Jordanian security forces in recent years.

It was not clear how many militants fled into the building which is in a busy residential quarter of Salt.

King Abdullah of Jordan said his country would hold all those accountable for undermining the security of the Kingdom and the safety of its citizens after four security officers were killed in a shoot-out.

The structure partially collapsed after the suspects rigged it with explosives that detonated during the raid, according to Ghunaimat.

On Sunday, she added that the bodies of three suspects were pulled out of the rubble.

The suspects had refused to hand themselves over to the security forces and blown up part of the hilltop building, Ghunaimat added. They had been taken overnight to a main hospital in the capital, a medical source said.

She added that the security operation was still ongoing.

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.

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