Six Jordanian soldiers killed as car bomb explodes near Rukban refugee camp

AMMAN, Jordan, June 21 (UPI) — Six Jordanian soldiers died early Tuesday in a car bomb attack at the Syria-Jordan border opposite Syria’s Rukban refugee camp, military officials said.

Another 14 people were injured in the blast, a Jordanian military source said, adding the vehicle exploded near the camp, home to 50,000 people fleeing the Syrian civil war. There were no reports of refugee injuries.

Jordan’s state television called the incident a “cowardly terrorist act.” No group has announced responsibility for the incident.

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The camp is at the intersection of the Iraqi, Syrian and Jordanian borders. Jordan, which is involved in the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State, has maintained tight control of its border, guarded with patrols and drones, since the civil war began in Syria in 2011.

Jordan has accepted more than 600,000 U.N.-registered refugees from Syria before it closed border crossings in 2013, but has received criticism over conditions at the Rukban camp. The United Nations has recommended that Jordan, whose refugee efforts are heavily funded by foreign aid, should accept more refugees and move the camps closer to the capital, Amman, and away from the borders. Jordan has countered by suggesting the camps have been infiltrated by Islamic State supporters.

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