Four Jordanian policemen were killed in clashes with Islamist militants on Tuesday (20 December) near the southern city of Karak.

It followed a five-hour standoff with the fighters who killed 10 people, including a Canadian tourist, on Sunday (18 December) in the Crusader-era castle in the city.

Islamic State (Isis) later claimed responsibility for the attack, which led Jordanian security forces to launch a wide manhunt for the militants.

Government spokesperson Mohamad Momani told Reuters that security forces were surrounding a house in a neighbourhood in Karak where gunmen linked to Sunday's attack were taking cover.

"We are talking about a number of raids that are being conducted by security forces in all parts of the kingdom, not just in Karak," said Momani.

Momani added that in addition to the four security officials dead, 11 others were wounded. One Islamic militant was also killed in the fighting.

Despite the loss of life, security officials did retrieve a large cache of weapons and ammunition. Several suicide belts were also discovered in a hideout in a home in the desert town of Qatranah 30km northeast of Karak.

Jordanian officials would not confirm whether the men being tracked were linked to IS (Daesh) but there is concern about radical Islam's growing profile in the country.

Jordan has been relatively unscathed by the uprisings, civil wars and Islamist militancy that have swept the Middle East since 2011. However, it is one of very few Arab countries to participate in US-led airstrikes against Isis in the Middle East.

Many Jordanians oppose this involvement, however, saying it has led to the killing of fellow Muslims and raised security threats inside Jordan.