AMMAN, Jordan – Suspected militants who killed five members of Jordan's security forces over the weekend are Jordanian citizens who support the ideology of the Islamic State group, but don't have proven links to foreign funding or foreign extremist organizations, officials said Monday.
The assailants had hoarded large quantities of explosives that were apparently intended for attacks on civilians in public places and on security installations. The explosives "were ready, on timer, and could be detonated immediately," government spokeswoman Jumana Ghuneimat told reporters.
The weekend confrontations highlighted Jordan's continued vulnerability, despite its security crackdown on suspected Islamic militants. Jordan is a key Western ally, and any sign of instability is viewed with concern, particularly by the U.S. and Israel.
The chain of events in Jordan began Friday when assailants detonated a homemade bomb under a police car guarding a music festival in the predominantly Christian town of Fuheis, west of the capital, Amman. The blast killed a police officer.
Security forces chasing the Fuheis suspects raided a multi-story building in the nearby town of Salt on Saturday. The militants opened fire and set off explosives, killing four members of the security forces and collapsing part of the building. Three suspects were killed and five were taken into custody.
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