Aug. 12 (UPI) — Four Jordanian security officers and three suspected militants died in a raid after a bomb attack on a police van, the government said Sunday.
Authorities raided the building late Saturday after the suspects refused to surrender and blew up part of the building in central Jordan.
Five suspects have been arrested of a cell hiding in a building in the center of hillside Salt city, about 8 miles west of Amman, government spokeswoman Jumana Ghunaimat told the state news agency Petra.
Later, Ghunaimat said officials were attempting to enter the site to see if any civilians held hostage.
On Friday, assailants detonated a home-made bomb under a police car guarding a music festival in the predominantly Christian town of Fuheis, west of Amman. A police officer died in the blast, which was described as a terrorist attack by Jordan’s prime minister, Omar al-Razzaz.
Security forces found suspects in a multi-story building.
When explosives were detonated by the suspects, the structure partially collapsed, according to Ghunaimat.
“The suspects refused to surrender and opened heavy fire toward a joint security force,” Ghunaimat said in a statement. “The operation is still ongoing with thoughtful steps to make sure that no civilians are threatened.”
The suspects are Jordanian nationals, the Hala Akhbar news website, which is linked to Jordan’s military, reported. Not group has claimed responsibility.
“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,” al-Razzaz said in a statement to Petra news agency.