Six soldiers posted in Jordan were reportedly killed near Syrian border on early Tuesday morning. Fourteen soldiers were gravely injured, according to a report by Al Jazeera.
According to ABC News, the attack took place at 5.30 a.m Jordan time when a car bomb exploded opposite a Syrian refugee camp in Rukban, which is situated at the border region of Iraq, Syria and Jordan.
This attack comes two weeks after five Jordanian intelligence agents were killed when a gunman forced entry into the General Intelligence Directorate office in Ain el-Basha near Palestinian refugee camp of al Baqa’a.
Officials told Al Jazeera that the explosion took place in the buffer zone between the Jordanian border and the refugee camp, which houses about 70,000 refugees in the desolate desert area.
“Six soldiers have been martyred and 14 others were wounded in the terrorist attack,” an official said, speaking on condition of anonymity and adding that it was a “preliminary toll.” reported Al Jazeera.
A statement by the Jordan Armed Forces- Arab Army General Command Headquarters said, “Such criminal act will only add to our unshaken determination to fight terrorism and terrorists’ ideologies regardless of their motives.”
The army earlier said in a brief statement that the bombing had taken place in the al-Rukban district opposite a Syrian refugee camp and was part of a coordinated attack involving multiple vehicles, said the Al Jazeera report.
The statement added that “several of the attacking vehicles were destroyed”.
Jordan’s state TV says called the incident a “cowardly terrorist attack.”
According to ABC News, about 60,000 Syrian refugees are stranded at two locations along the berm, awaiting entry to Jordan. The military explained that a “booby-trapped car attacked the berm, killing and wounding a number of border guards,” the report by ABC News stated.
RIP our brave soldiers. God give your families strength, comfort and peace. https://t.co/QQpwXZYQJL— Noor Al Hussein (@QueenNoor) June 21, 2016
According to news reports, several other vehicles involved in the attack were destroyed, but the military has not shared details pertaining to that. The exact location of the attack was not immediately clear.
The Islamic State (ISIS) controls large areas in neighboring Syria and Iraq, and Jordan has fortified its border defenses to prevent attacks and infiltration attempts.
In March, Jordanian authorities had foiled an IS terror plot to carry out attacks in the kingdom in an operation that led to the deaths of seven militants, mentioned a news report by Middle East Eye.
According to a report by Al Jazeera, Jordan has also jailed hundreds of ISIS sympathizers in the past two years for promoting the rebel group’s ideology on social media. As for this attack, no militant group has claimed responsibility so far.
Al-Rukban is an informal refugee camp, which is estimated to hold nearly 27,000 people, stranded between the borders as they await entry to Jordan. Due to security concerns, Jordan only admits 50-100 people per day, and usually the priority is given to the old. sick and injured.
According to an earlier BBC report, Jordan had tightened controls on its border with Syria, which has been ravaged by a bloody civil war and a jihadist insurgency led by the so-called Islamic State.
Jordan is hosting 633,000 of the 4.39 million Syrians registered as refugees with the UN.
The number of Syrians stranded on the Jordanian border has recently risen sharply to about 17,000 people, according to the UN.
A recent survey conducted by International Republican Institute showed that more Jordanians support the fight against ISIS extremists. At the same time, respondents also said that they are increasingly dissatisfied with their country’s economy and political institutions. This poll was conducted before King Abdullah II dissolved parliament, setting the stage for new elections in September, reported NYT.
[Photo by Raad Adayleh/ AP Images]