Three Jordanian police officers killed in raid on hideout of suspected killers of senior policeman

Three members of a Jordanian security force have been killed as they raided a hideout of militants suspected of gunning down a high-ranking police officer during protests in the southern city of Ma’an over high fuel prices.

The Public Security Directorate said officers surrounded the location of several suspects on Monday. One of the suspects “fired heavy bullets from an automatic weapon,” and the officers returned fire.

The statement added that the suspect in the killing of the deputy police chief of Ma’an province, Colonel Abdul Razzaq Dalabeh, who died on Thursday from a gunshot wound in the head during protests in the town of al-Husseiniya, was killed in the fire exchange.

The agency described the suspect, who has not been identified, as “ascribing to Takfiri ideology.”

“The Public Security Directorate mourns the martyrdom of three of its members… during the raid on the terror cell” which also wounded five officers, it added.

Nine other suspects, four of whom are connected to Dalabeh’s killing, were arrested in operation. Automatic firearms and a large amount of ammunition were seized as well, the statement said.

On Saturday, Jordanian authorities said they had arrested 44 people in connection with protests in several southern provinces and cities of the kingdom.

More than a week ago, cab and truck drivers began strike actions along with mostly peaceful demonstrations.

They were joined by bus drivers and merchants who closed their shops on Wednesday to protest higher fuel costs.

Clashes erupted last week when demonstrators blocked roads with burning tires, and confronted security forces in some areas.

Fuel prices in Jordan have nearly doubled compared with a year earlier, particularly the diesel used by trucks and buses, and kerosene for heating.

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