Jordan: Four Security Officers killed in Police Raid
On Saturday, August 11th, 2018, four members of the Jordanian Security Forces (JSF) were killed and at least 20 civilians were injured during a raid in the Jordanian town of Salt 30 km (18 miles) west of Amman. This came a day after a police officer was killed in a vehicle explosion that targeted a police patrol stationed in the predominantly Christian town of Al-Fahis 6.03 km SE as-Salt where security forces were deployed to guard the town’s annual music festival. The bomb which was planted at the location of the incident was homemade the interior ministry reported.
According to the government’s spokeswoman, Jumana Ghneimat, security forces raided a house in Salt in search of the alleged militant “cell” believed to be behind Friday’s bombing. The supposed militants reportedly refused to surrender and engaged in a heavy fire exchange with JSF, when an IED was eventually detonated and partially damaged the building where they have barricaded themselves in. The set of explosions killed four members of the Jordanian security forces who were trying to storm into the building. Nevertheless, Jordanian security forces eventually arrested five suspects following the shootout and pulled the bodies of at least three suspected militants out of the partially collapsed building early Sunday.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility by any militant group for Friday’s attack and the identity of the suspected militants was not immediately known. The Hala Akhbar news website linked to Jordan’s military said on Sunday, that those believed to be involved are Jordanian citizens and that the cell planned to attack more security installations and other types of sensitive targets. According to Ghunaimat and a security source, it was believed a suicide bomber had blown himself up causing the partial collapse of the building.
Security forces have been on high alert since the start of this year with warnings that sympathizers of the Islamic State could launch revenge attacks after the militants were driven out of most territories in Syria and Iraq. Jordan has played a significant role in the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, using its air force against them and providing the coalition with logistical and intelligence support.
Intelligence officials and some experts believe that widening social disparities and a perception of widespread official corruption is fuelling a rise in radicalization among disaffected youths in a country with high unemployment and growing poverty.