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Explosive belts found after attack at Jordan’s tourist spot: Interior minister

19 December 2016 21:40

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Jordanian police have found explosive belts and other weapons in the hideout of militants suspected to be behind a recent deadly assault that killed 10 people, the country’s interior minister says.

“This was a big terrorist operation but we are still in the stage of follow-up of information that relates to it,” Interior Minister Salamah Hamad told a news conference on Monday.

The minister gave no details on the identity or nationality of the attackers, saying disclosing details at this stage could hamper national security.

Police have said they suspect Takfiri Daesh extremists were behind the attack.

“The four dead militants are Jordanian members of a terrorist cell suspected of belonging” to the Daesh terrorist group, a security source said.

Prime Minister Hani al-Malki had earlier spoken of as many as 10 gunmen involved in the attack. It was unclear whether any militants were still at large.

On Sunday, at least ten people lost their lives when unidentified armed men attacked police forces in Jordan’s central province of Karak. The assault took place in the mountainous city of Karak, a tourist destination which is situated 120 kilometers south of the capital Amman.

The Jordanian General Security Directorate confirmed in a statement that seven of the deceased were policemen, two were Jordanian civilians and one was a Canadian tourist.


Members of the Jordanian Gendarmerie carry the body of their colleague Lieutenant Colonel Saed al-Maaytah, who was killed a day earlier in an attack in Karak, during his funeral on December 19, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Jordan has come under several attacks from suspected Daesh militants over the past few months.

On November 7, three US soldiers were killed when unknown gunmen fired shots at a car carrying the Americans at the entrance to al-Jafr military base near the southern Jordanian town of Mann. The slain American service members were reportedly in Jordan on a training mission.

Jordan is a major US ally in the Middle East region, and a member of the so-called US-led military coalition against the Daesh terrorist group.

This is while many Jordanians oppose their country’s involvement in the US-led campaign against purported Daesh positions in neighboring Iraq and Syria, arguing they have targeted civilians and raised security threats inside Jordan.

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