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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

Jordan minister says terror cell who attacked police support ISIS

The faction had an 'armoury of IEDs' for further attacks, Taylor Luck in Amman reports

Jordanian security forces and relatives of Sergeant Hisham Aqarbeh attend his funeral in the town Birayn, north of the capital Amman. AFP
Jordanian security forces and relatives of Sergeant Hisham Aqarbeh attend his funeral in the town Birayn, north of the capital Amman. AFP

Jordan's interior minister said on Monday militants behind an attack on police supported ISIS, and investigations had revealed plans for more attacks on security and civilian targets.

Jordanian police said last week a homemade explosive device planted near a police van killed a policeman and injured six others.

Interior Minister Sameer Al Mobaideen said the militants had "no organizational ties" to the group or its members but subscribed to ISIS ideology. "The investigations are secret and ongoing," he told a news conference.

Mr Al Mobaideen said that the cell had "an armoury of IEDs" with which they were planning other public gatherings. He added that it was recently formed and the young men had no criminal records or were not known to security services as possibly supporting extremism.

Jordan's King, Abdullah II, meets injured Jordanian armed forces in hospital. Petra Jordan News Agency.
Jordan's King, Abdullah II, meets injured Jordanian armed forces in hospital. Petra Jordan News Agency.

Five militants were arrested on Saturday night after a raid on an apartment block in the town of Salt, some 20 kilometres west of Amman. Jordanian police stormed the apartment in search of the cell behind a bombing in the Christian village of Fuheis on Friday that killed one officer of the Gendarmerie and wounded six other security personnel.

Three other officers were killed in Saturday's raid and a fourth died of wounds on Sunday.

As police moved in to storm the building, they engaged in a gun battle with the militant cell holed up inside. The gunmen also detonated an explosive device, bringing down half the apartment block that is perched on the crest of a hill.

Some 20 security officers and civilians were injured in the operation.

As well as the five suspects arrested, excavations of the rubble of the partially collapsed building turned up the bodies of three other suspected accomplices.

epa06946138 People carry the body of the anti-terrorist unit Sergeant Hisham Aqarbeh, who was killed in duty during a police operation in Salt, during his funeral in Birayn, governorate of Zarqa, some 30 kms North East of Amman, Jordan, 12 August 2018. Jordanian Security forces stormed a building on 11 August evening in the city of Salt, where men suspected of planting the home-made bomb that killed one policeman on 10 August were believed to be hiding. After an exchange of fire, an explosion rocked the building and brought it down, according to the Government spokeswoman Jumana Ghuneimat, the explosion occurred as the alleged terrorists had rigged the building with explosives and detonated then during the police raid. The operation continued well into 12 August morning and resulted in the arrest of five people, death of three members of the security forces and the injury of more than a dozen others. EPA/ANDRE PAIN
People carry the body of the anti-terrorist unit Sergeant Hisham Aqarbeh, who was killed during a police operation in Salt. EPA

Funerals for the fallen officers have been taking place over the weekend, with crowds of people and security personnel attending the burial of Sergeant Hisham Aqarbeh, who was killed during the Salt operation.

Jordan's King Abdullah also visited families of the officers who died in the operations.

The names of the officers killed during the weekend's violence are as follows:

Explosion in Fuheis:

Sgt Ali Adnan Qawqaza, Gendarmerie

Raid in Salt:

Cpl Hisham al Aqarbeh, General Intelligence Directorate Anti-Terror Unit

Maj Muath Khamis al Huwaitat, Jordan Armed Forces

Cpl Mohammed Al Hayajneh, Jordan Armed Forces

Cpl Muhammad al Azzam, Jordan Armed Forces

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Read more:

Four officers dead, five militants in custody after Jordanian apartment raid

Two Jordanian security officers killed in attacks near Amman

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