Four Jordanian troops, three suspected militants dead in clash

Security forces are seen near a damaged building after the security operation in the city of Salt on Saturday

Security forces are seen near a damaged building after the security operation in the city of Salt on Saturday

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.

Ghuneimat initially said one officer was killed, but later updated the death toll to three.

Witnesses heard several strong explosions near the site which a security source said were explosives being detonated by the police as they closed in on the militants.

The bodies of three suspected militants have been recovered from under rubble at their hideout following a shoot-out in which at least four Jordanian security personnel were killed.

The United States "strongly condemned" the attacks against Jordanian security forces in Al-Fuhais and in Salt, in a statement released Sunday by its Amman embassy.

Ghunaimat had earlier said search and rescue operations were being conducted to ensure no civilians were being held hostage in what was left of 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.

Jordan has played a key role in the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq, using its air force against the jihadists and allowing coalition forces to use its bases.

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

The clash late on Saturday was among the deadliest between suspected terrorists and Jordanian security forces in recent years.

The minister added that a special team demolished the remaining parts of the building "because it is too risky to be around it". They had been taken overnight to a main hospital in the capital, a medical source said.

King Abdullah expressed his condolences to the Jordanian families of the security forces and paid tribute to the officers killed on duty, describing their sacrifices as "heroic and highly honorable".

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

"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", he said in remarks carried by Petra. It arrested the suspects.

Intelligence officials and some experts believe widening social disparities and a perception of widespread official corruption is fuelling a rise in radicalisation among disaffected youths in a country with high unemployment and growing poverty.

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