Jordan retrieves bodies of three suspected militants after shootout

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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.

Government spokeswoman Jumana Ghunaimat told Reuters the security forces had also seized automatic weapons in a "continuing operation."

Jordan said on Saturday four security personnel were killed during a police raid on a house sheltering militants suspected of being behind a bomb attack on a police van a day earlier.

Security forces stormed a building in the city of As-Salt where suspects behind the planting of the home-made bomb that killed one policeman on Friday were believed to be hiding.

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 centre of hillside As-Salt city, about 30 km west of Amman.

The suspects had refused to hand themselves over to the security forces and blown up part of the hilltop building, Ghunaimat added.

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


Latest reports said explosions were heard in the vicinity of operation in in As-Salt, a hillside town near Amman, after the raid entered its second phase of an ongoing operation.

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 As-Salt that was sealed off by police.

The terrorist cell was responsible for the bomb blast in the town of Fuheis outside Amman that killed one policeman and injured six others on Friday.

During Saturday’s raid, 20 persons were injured in the collapse of the building in As-Salt.

Security personnel killed

The three suspects were held during the operation by ecurity forces during which four security personnel were killed.

Earlier, Jordanian police investigations showed that a home made explosive device planted near a police van was behind a blast on Friday that killed the policeman and injured six others.

Police said on Friday a gas canister stored in the van was behind the blast near a gendarmerie parking lot close to the site of a music festival in the town of Fuheis outside Amman.

“This cowardly act will only increase the determination to do our job to protect people,” the interior ministry statement said.

(With Reuters)

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