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Jordan: 4 security officers killed after storming building

Jordan: 4 security officers killed after storming building

Gunmen killed three members of Jordan's security forces during a raid on a "terrorist" cell a day after an officer died in a bomb blast, a government spokeswoman said.

Jordanian security forces gather during a raid in the city of Salt, northwest of the capital Amman, August 12, 2018.

"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 have been extra vigilant since the start of this year with warnings that sympathisers of Islamic State could launch revenge attacks after the militants were driven out of most of the territory they once controlled in Syria and Iraq.

In initial statements late Saturday, government spokeswoman Jumana Ghuneimat said three members of the security forces were killed and that five suspects were in custody.

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.

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.

Ghneimat did not give details but local Jordanian media, citing medical sources in Salt, said about 20 people were wounded in the operation.

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The Interior Ministry says 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.

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

Salt lies a few kilometres north of Al-Fuhais, a mostly Christian town.

No group immediately took responsibility.

Ghneimat said that the security forces raided the house in Salt after receiving a tip-off.

In a huge security operation, Jordanian forces laid siege to the building in a residential part of Salt on Saturday night in search of those responsible for a bomb attack on a police van on Friday.

The Hala Akhbar news website linked to Jordan's military said the suspects were Jordanian nationals and that the cell had planned to attack security installations and other crucial targets.

Jordan plays a prominent role in the USA -led coalition against Islamic State, providing military, logistical and intelligence support, according to Western diplomats and regional intelligence sources.