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Jordan to respond with iron fist to threat, King says, as 6 troops killed in border terror attack

By JT - Jun 22,2016 - Last updated at Jun 22,2016

Hundreds of mourners attend the funeral of one of the fallen soldiers killed in a terror attack early Tuesday in the northeastern border area near a Syrian refugee camp (Photo courtesy of Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army)

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah, the Supreme Commander of the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army (JAF), on Tuesday stressed that “Jordan will respond with an iron fist to assaults or any attempts to tamper with the Kingdom's internal or border security”.

The King stressed that Jordan will "always remain strong, thanks to the high morale of JAF and security agencies' personnel”, according to a Royal Court statement.

The Supreme Commander made these remarks as he chaired a meeting at JAF headquarters, bringing together high-ranking civil and military officials, to follow up on the details of the terrorist act, which targeted a forward military post for serving Syrian refugees on the northeastern front. 

Jordanians from across the board reacted with anger and vows of further determination to combat terrorism, while world leaders expressed solidarity with Jordan. 

Six Jordanian troops were killed and 14 others injured on Tuesday when a booby-trapped car struck a forward military post at the no man's land at the borders between Syria and Jordan, JAF said in a statement.

The fallen men include four Border Guard members, a member of the Civil Defence Department and a member of the Public Security Department (PSD), while out of the total 14 who were injured 9 are members of PSD.

His Majesty expressed his pride in the “heroic acts and sacrifices of JAF and security personnel who defend the country with valour that cannot be undermined by the forces of darkness and evil”.

“Jordan, with the unity and solidarity of its people, will be, as always, a hard target for all cowardly attempts that seek to disturb its security and stability,” the King said, “expressing his condolences for the loss of JAF and security personnel who died in the criminal act,” the statement added.

The King added: “Such heinous terrorist acts will only make us more determined to carry on with our fight against terrorism and its groups who plotted in the dark against the men who protect the country and its borders.” 

He wished the injured a speedy recovery.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff and King’s Military Adviser Gen. Mashal Al Zaben made a detailed presentation on the terrorist act and methods of dealing with it.

King Abdullah stressed that Jordan will continue its role in fighting “criminal groups and their dark ideologies”, as well as defending the true image of Islam and its tolerant teachings, the statement added.  

Later in the day, a JAF statement, the fourth in a string of statements since the dawn incident, said Zaben issued an order declaring the northern and northeastern border areas sealed military zones.

“Any moving vehicle or person within the said areas will be dealt with as a hostile threat, with all firmness and no leniency.” 

The army’s third statement said that the booby-trapped vehicle came from the camp, penetrated through a gap in the sand barricade used to deliver relief aid and speeded towards the forward post where the driver blew up the car.

The attack resulted in the death of Corporal Noureddine Shihadeh, Corporal Ahmad Sbeihi, Lance Corporal Bilal Zu’bi and Private Khader Hajji from JAF, in addition to Public Security Department’s (PSD) officer, Odai Khawaldeh and the Civil Defence Department’s (CDD) Sergeant Anas Asmar, according to the JAF statement.

The source identified the injured army personnel as: Lance Corporal Mahmoud Ibrahim, Private Mohammad Salah Mohammad, Private Yazan Salem and Private Seifeddine Mustafa.

The wounded police officers are: Sergeant Mohammad Ramthan, Sergeant Ziad Khalil and officers Mohammad Awwad, Muein Farhan, Osama Migbel, Hatem Rweished, Imad Aqil, Ayed Ali and Abedrabbo Qasseem.

 

Senior CDD and PSD officers on Tuesday attended the funerals of CDD Sergeant Asmar and police officer Khawaldeh in Irbid and Tafileh, respectively, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

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