Jordan policemen killed in storming of militants’ hideout

Security forces surrounding a building where terrorists were hiding in Salt northwest of Amman

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.

On Friday, a bomb was planted under a police vehicle providing security at a music festival in the town of Fuheis.

Ghuneimat initially said one officer was killed, but later updated the death toll to four. A wing of the building collapsed.

The government spokesperson added that the security operation is ongoing.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Friday's bomb blast and the identity of the suspects in Salt was not immediately known. However, the kingdom has also been targeted by Islamic militants, both domestic and foreign who have carried out a series of attacks.

Jordan is a close Western ally in a turbulent region, and has largely been spared from the conflicts in neighboring Syria and Iraq.

Several incidents over the past few years have jolted the Arab kingdom, which has been comparatively unscathed by the uprisings, civil wars and Islamist militancy that have swept the Middle East since 2011.

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A member of Jordan's security forces has lost his life and six others sustained injuries when an explosion struck a patrol van at a music festival near the capital Amman.

"Following intense and delicate investigations, a special force made a decision to raid a building in Salt governorate that was believed to be occupied by the suspects", Ghunaimat told The Jordan Times. "The operation is still ongoing with thoughtful steps to make sure that no civilians are threatened".

"The building in which the terrorist cell was found is about to fall and will be demolished to prevent a sudden collapse", Ghunaimat added.

"This cowardly act will only increase the determination to do our job to protect people", the interior ministry statement said. They had been taken overnight to a main hospital in the capital, a medical source said.

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

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

Security forces have been extra vigilant with warnings that sympathizers 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.

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