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Jordanian Intelligence Officers Killed In Refugee Camp

Five people have been killed in an attack on Jordanian intelligence officers at a Palestinian refugee camp near the capital, Amman, government officials say.

They described the incident, rare in Jordan, as a “terrorist attack”. Three of the five people killed were intelligence officers, the officials said.

The attack took place at the sprawling Baqaa camp north of Amman at about 07:00 local time (04:00 GMT). The Baqaa camp was one of six set up in 1968 for Palestinian refugees fleeing the West Bank and Gaza Strip as a result of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

Jordan is a key member of the US-led coalition fighting so-called Islamic State in neighbouring Syria and Iraq, and its air force has carried out strikes in both countries. No-one has yet said they carried out the Baqaa attack.

Criminal Behaviour

Jordanian government spokesman Mohammed Momani said the “cowardly” attack targeted the intelligence agency office at the camp. He gave no details of the attack but said it was carried out by those with the “criminal behaviour of people who are outside of our religion”.

Mr Momani said two of those killed were a guard and a telephone exchange operator.

A security source later told AFP news agency that initial findings suggested the attack was carried out by a lone gunman with an automatic weapon. The attack took place on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

In March, Jordan said it had foiled planned attacks by so-called Islamic State when a military raid in the city of Irbid left seven suspected jihadist militants dead. The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) says Baqaa is the largest camp in Jordan. It is believed to house more than 100,000 refugees.

UNRWA says the camp continues to face major challenges, including unemployment, poverty and the need for structural repair. Jordan is also a major host of refugees from the Syrian civil conflict, caring for 635,000 of the 4.6 million Syrians the UN has registered. More than 80,000 Syrians live in Jordan’s second largest refugee camp, Zaatari.

Earlier this year, King Abdullah said his country was at “boiling point” because of the influx.