Three terrorists arrested in Salt raid

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

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

Jordanian search teams pulled the bodies of three suspected terrorists from the rubble of their hideout, a government official said Sunday, hours after assailants opened fire and set off explosions that killed three members of the security forces trying to storm the building.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Friday's bomb blast and the identity of the suspects in Salt was not immediately known. It raised new concerns about attempts by domestic and foreign terrorists to carry out attacks and destabilize the pro-Western kingdom.

Security forces are seen near a damaged building one day after the security incident, at the city of Al Salt, Jordan.

Four security personnel were killed during the operation after the suspected militants sought sanctuary in the multi-story building in Salt, a hillside city, the government said. In December 2016, a shootout at a Crusader castle in the southern town of Karak left 14 people dead, including seven members of the security forces, four attackers and three civilians.

The Jordanian Interior Ministry said in a statement on Saturday that the blast hit a security patrol in the Christian-majority town of al-Fuheis, located 20 kilometers northwest of Amman, on Friday evening.

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

It was not clear how many militants fled into the building which is in a busy residential quarter of the city.

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The structure partially collapsed after the suspects rigged it with explosives that detonated during the raid, according to Ghunaimat.

"The building in which the terrorist cell was found is about to fall and will be demolished to prevent a sudden collapse", Ghunaimat added. They had been taken overnight to a main hospital in the capital, a medical source said.

The Kingdom on Saturday denounced the bomb attack on the joint patrol of gendarmerie and public security forces in Al-Fahees area in the Jordanian capital Amman.

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

Jordan earlier this year said it had foiled an Islamic State plot that included plans for a series of attacks last November on security installations, shopping malls and moderate religious figures, state media reported.

Jordan has been a target for attacks by Islamic State in recent years.

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