Jordan border guards clash with gunmen

Jordanian border guards clashed at dawn Saturday with armed men in a border area and arrested all of the gunmen, Information Minister Samih Maayatah said.

"Jordanian border guards arrested at dawn a group of gunmen in one of the border areas after an exchange of gunfire," he said in remarks carried by the state-run Petra news agency.

The were no further details and later Maayatah declined, in reply to AFP, to say where the clashes occurred or identify the gunmen.

"This is a military issue," he said, refusing to give further details.

Jordan shares land borders with Iraq, Israel, Syria, the West Bank and Saudi Arabia.

The tiny desert kingdom has beefed up its security along the border with Syria, since a deadly uprising against the government of President Bashar al-Assad erupted in mid-March.

In an interview with AFP earlier this month, Jordan's King Abdullah II warned of a spillover of the Syrian conflict into neighbouring countries, saying the risk is "looming closer."

Jordan currently hosts more than 200,000 Syrians who have fled the bloodletting.

The king said that not all Syrians who came to Jordan were seeking safe haven.

"We have discovered that a few came here, not to seek safe haven, but to carry out other missions -- intelligence gathering on refugees, or schemes to target Jordan's stability and security," he added.

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