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Anti-terror units clash with ‘terrorists’ in Irbid; officer falls

By Raed Omari - Mar 02,2016 - Last updated at Mar 02,2016

AMMAN — Specialised security forces raided a residential building in Irbid downtown Tuesday to arrest a group of armed persons sources said were outlaws belonging to a jihadi group.

Captain Rashed Hussein Zyoud fell martyr, a security source said, adding that four of the extremists were killed in the raid, which extended for hours in the northern city.

Two security personnel were injured in the operation and were receiving treatment, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, cited the source as saying. Two citizens who happened to be in the area were also injured, sustaining wounds to the hand and the foot, respectively. They were in a moderate condition.  

Dozens of troops, reportedly from the army special forces and intelligence, were deployed, supported by helicopters and other security personnel.

Citizen journalists posted videos on social media platforms, purportedly from the scene, where heavy fire exchange was clearly heard and a long fleet of security vehicles was taking control of the area.

A security source, who preferred to remain unnamed, told The Jordan Times that anti-terror personnel carried out the operation to arrest a number of hard-line takfiris in Irbid Governorate, some 90 kilometres north of Amman.

The source told The Jordan Times that the wanted persons were holed up in a residential building in downtown near the Irbid District Electricity Company, adding that they opened fire at the raiding forces, which responded "intensively and heavily".

"People living in other apartments in the building were escorted to the ground floor," an eyewitness said, adding: "The fire exchange was intensive and clearly heard from even a long distance."

The eyewitness, Hussein, told The Jordan Times over the phone that the "besieged takfiris in the building were aided by other Salafists who came from other areas and opened fire at the security forces".

Officials were not available to confirm that the suspects had a backup from outside the building where they were hiding. 

One suspected terrorist was arrested, according to Petra, which said the operation was still ongoing in the early hours Tuesday. 

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