Jordanian soldier killed in clash with militants

AMMAN Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:24am EDT

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AMMAN (Reuters) - A Jordanian soldier was killed in clashes with Islamist fighters trying to cross the country's northern border into Syria, a cabinet minister said on Monday.

"The soldier died during an infiltration attempt," Minister of Information Samih Maaytah told Reuters, adding that it was the first death in Jordanian army ranks on the border since the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad broke out in March last year.

Troops detained 12 Islamist fighters after the clashes, which occurred overnight, an army statement said.

Jordanian authorities have privately expressed concern about the growing threat of Islamist jihadists infiltrating into Syria to join scores of radical groups operating across the country.

Jordan said on Sunday it foiled a plot by an al Qaeda-linked cell to bomb shopping centers and assassinate Western diplomats. Security sources said the 11 suspects detained, all Jordanians, had envisaged carrying out attacks in the capital Amman using smuggled weapons and explosives from Syria.

Security sources said the suspects had spent some time in Syria, without saying when they had returned to Jordan.

A key U.S. ally in the Middle East and Israel's peace partner, Jordan enjoys close ties with Western intelligence agencies and has often been targeted by al Qaeda and other Islamist militants.

(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Dominic Evans)

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Comments (1)
The Syrian civil war was prompted and largely equipped by Saudi Arabian royals, committed members of the extremely anti-democratic Wahhabi, a Sunni sect that hates moderate and democratic Islam.
Without Wahhabi involvement, it is possible Assad may already have been peacefully replaced by now as part of the Arab Spring which Saudi and other Wahhabi rulers of oil-rich gulf states fear will bring democracy to the region.
When these rulers are overthrown, the region’s people will remember, bitterly, that it was the United States and Europe that armed and trained the bad guys.

Oct 22, 2012 12:14pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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