Three Jordanian intelligence officers and two other security personnel were killed in a rare militant attack on a security office in a Palestinian refugee camp on the outskirts of the Jordanian capital, a government official said on Monday.
Jordanian television, quoting a government spokesman, described it a terrorist attack that took place before 7 a.m. – the first day of the holy fasting month of Ramadan- in the Palestinian refugee camp of Baqaa.
Mohammed Momani, the government spokesman, said the attack targeted the intelligence department’s local office in the camp that houses over 70,000 refugees. Alongside the three officers, a guard and a telephone exchange operator at the office were killed.
“Security forces are chasing these culprits and investigating the circumstances of the terrorist attack,” Momani said. He gave no further details.
Baqaa is the largest camp in Jordan, where a large percentage of the country’s over seven million population are descendants of Palestinian refugees who fled in the aftermath of the creation of Israel in 1948.
Such attacks are rare in pro-Western Jordan, a key member of the U.S.-led military coalition against ISIS extremists in neighboring Syria and Iraq.
Earlier this year a large security operation was mounted in the northern city of Irbid in which several ISIS sympathizers were killed in a shootout.
The security authorities later said they had carried out a pre-emptive strike against a group of militants linked to Syria who were planning suicide attacks on shopping malls and government buildings.
In December 2005, suicide attacks on three Amman hotels claimed by ISIS’s predecessor Al-Qaeda in Iraq killed 60 people and wounded dozens.