Jordan raid leaves three police officers dead

Operation aimed at hideout of man suspected of shooting police chief during protests

The funeral of Col Abdul Razzaq Al Dalabeh, who was killed during last week's protests in Jordan. EPA
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Three Jordanian police officers have been killed and five wounded in a raid aimed at the suspected killer of a senior policeman shot during protests last week.

The suspect was later killed and eight others arrested in the raid, state media said on Monday morning.

"There will be no tolerance for those who violate security, assault security personnel or public or private property, or take advantage of any situation to create disorder," Jordan's cabinet said in a later statement, while parliament said security forces should deal "forcefully with anyone raising arms against the state".

It followed the death of a local deputy police director in the southern province of Maan after rare protests erupted over low wages and fuel price rises.

Col Abdul Razzaq Al Dalabeh, the deputy director of Maan's police force, was shot in the head, the Public Security Directorate said on Friday.

Police on Monday said the raid targeted a cell following "Takfiri ideology", a term used for militant Islamists.

The police have threatened to clamp down on “vandals and outlaws”, whom they say are behind the protests, and extra security forces have been sent to Maan.

Dozens of people were arrested at the weekend and TikTok was suspended amid the demonstrations, caused by a decision from Jordan's fuel pricing committee to raise prices.

Taxi and lorry drivers were the first to strike, with unrest spreading to towns and cities across the country, including the capital Amman.

Fuel prices in Jordan have nearly doubled in the past year. The government has promised to examine lorry strikers' demands but says it has already paid more than 500 million dinars to cap fuel prices this year.

Security forces used tear gas to disperse crowds in Zarqa on Friday, witnesses told Reuters, while sit-ins calling for more protests were held in mosques in Maan and Amman.

On Saturday, the Public Security Directorate said 44 people had been arrested for participating in “riots” and would be brought before courts.

King Abdullah II warned on Friday that “anyone who raises a weapon against the state will be dealt with firmly”.

Updated: December 19, 2022, 12:22 PM