AMMAN, Jordan: A government spokesman confirmed Wednesday that an arrest raid and shootout in Jordan’s third largest city targeted a militant group.
Mohammed Momani told state media that the operation late Tuesday in the city of Irbid left eight dead, including seven wanted men and a member of the Jordanian security forces.
The target of the raid was a “terrorist group,” Momani told The Associated Press in a text message. He did not elaborate. Previous statements by the security forces had only referred to the wanted men as “outlaws.”
Pro-Western Jordan is part of a U.S.-led military coalition against the extremist Islamic State group in neighboring Syria and Iraq.
Jordanian security forces have also cracked down on suspected IS sympathizers in the kingdom. Some of those expressing support for the group on social media have been sentenced to prison.
The operation in downtown Irbid began late Tuesday, with security forces raiding several locations and exchanging fire with the fugitives. In one area, troops surrounded a building where the wanted men were holed up.
Irbid resident Abdullah Nashwan said he heard the sound of shooting, and that security forces cut off power to parts of the city during the raids.