Jordanian police die in shootout with commander’s suspected killer

Jordanian police forces deployed on a desert road near Maan, southern Jordan, 16 December 2022

Three policeman have been killed during a raid on a location in southern Jordan where it was believed the suspected killer of a police chief was hiding.

The suspect was killed in the shootout, while nine associates were arrested, the Public Security Department said.

It alleged that they were “takfiris” – a term used to describe jihadists who see other Muslims as infidels.

The deputy police chief of Maan province was shot dead during clashes with protesters last Thursday.

The protests broke out in several cities over high fuel prices, which have doubled in the kingdom over the past year.

King Abdullah II acknowledged Jordanians’ economic hardship and their right to freedom of expression following last week’s unrest.

But he also stressed that “anyone who raises a weapon against the state will be dealt with firmly” and promised that security forces would not rest until the killer of Col Abdul Razaq Dalabeeh was brought to justice.

The deputy police chief was shot in the head in the town of al-Husseiniya, about 40km (25 miles) north of the city of Maan, while responding to what authorities called “riots”.

On Monday morning, police special forces carried out a raid in the al-Husseiniya area after identifying a suspect who was among “a group of brothers who subscribe to takfiri ideology”, state news agency Petra cited the Public Security Department (PSD) as saying.

“As soon as the special security force arrived at the suspects’ hideout, one of the suspects opened fire with an automatic weapon, killing three officers and injuring five others,” it added.

The PSD said the man believed to have shot Col Dalabeeh was killed, while officers arrested his four brothers, the three sons of one of them, and two other people who were with them.

They also seized “a large cache of automatic firearms and ammunition”.

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