Attackers in Jordan have detonated a car laden with explosives on the border with Syria, killing and wounding several Jordanian troops. The blast reportedly took place near a camp for Syrian refugees.
An attack on the Jordanian-Syrian border claimed the lives of at least six Jordanian border guards and wounded over a dozen others, the army reported on Tuesday.
"At 5:30 a.m. (0230 UTC) a car bomb exploded in the Rukban district opposite the Syrian refugee camp, killing or wounding several Jordanian soldiers," a short army statement said.
"Six soldiers have been martyred and 14 others were wounded in the terrorist attack," a Jordanian official told news agency AFP, adding that the count was a "preliminary toll."
A military statment released later on Tuesday called the bombing a "cowardly terrorist attack." It stated that four border troops, a civil defense member and a public security officier were killed. Of the 14 wounded, nine were public security officers.
The military said "a booby-trapped car" attacked an earthen barrier, or berm, which runs along the border. They also said several other vehicles involved in the attack have been destroyed.
The attack was reportedly launched from the Syrian side, a Jordanian official source said, but no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
The US embassy in Jordan condemned the attack and said it would continue its support for the Jordanian army.
Blast near refugee camp
The attack reportedly took place a few hundred meters from the Rukban camp for Syrian refugees which is where the borders of Iraq, Syria and Jordan meet.
"Clearly the attack underlines how challenging the relief operation is at the berm," said UN refugee agency spokeswoman Ariane Rummery.
"We remain concerned about the level of security issues at the berm and for humanitarian agencies working there."
An estimated 60,000 people are living in two locations along the border, awaiting entry into Jordan.
Jordanian authorities have kept them in the makeshift camps to await screening out out of fear that they are involved with the militant "Islamic State" group.
Jordan, a generally stable country, said it is hosting almost 1.4 million refugees, of whom 630,000 are registered with the United Nations.
rs/kms (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)