Monday, 20 August, 2018

Fourth injured person in Saturday's raid on suspected terrorists dies

Security forces surrounding a building where terrorists were hiding in Salt northwest of Amman Security forces surrounding a building where terrorists were hiding in Salt northwest of Amman
Patty Aguilar | 12 August, 2018, 21:56

Security forces gather near a damaged building at the city of Salt, Jordan, August 12, 2018.

Prime Minister Omar Razzaz portrayed Friday's bombing as a "terrorist attack".

Bomb blasts targeting security forces are rare in Jordan, although the small desert kingdom bordering Syria and Iraq has had to struggle with a rise in Muslim fundamentalism in recent years.

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

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.

King Abdullah expressed his condolences to the Jordanian families of the security forces and paid tribute to the officers killed on duty, describing their sacrifices as "heroic and highly honorable".

Jordanian authorities did not say Sunday what motivated the Fuheis attackers, and there was no claim of responsibility.

The suspected bombers' hideout in the town of Salt, ten miles from the capital, was surrounded by special forces officers late yesterday. The suspects holed up inside opened fire and set off powerful explosions, officials said. A wing of the building collapsed.

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Five other suspects have been arrested, according to Jumana Ghuneimat, a Jordanian government spokeswoman.

Ghuneimat had earlier said search and rescue operations were underway to ensure no civilians were being held hostage in what was left of the building.

"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 Petra. The site said the suspects had been armed with explosives, grenades and other weapons.

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

In June 2016, a cross-border vehicle bombing by Daesh launched from Syria killed seven Jordanian border guards.

Jordan is considered an important security ally, particularly by the United States and Israel, which view any signs of unrest there with concern.

At the same time, hopelessness and alienation among some of the kingdom's young people, driven by high youth unemployment, have provided fertile ground for recruitment by militant groups.

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