At least six Jordanian soldiers were killed after a car bomb exploded near the country’s border with Syria, Jordanian officials said.
The attack early on Tuesday in the al-Rukban district opposite a Syrian refugee camp, which houses about 70,000 people, was part of a coordinated attack involving multiple vehicles.
Officials told Al Jazeera that bombs exploded in the buffer zone between the Jordanian border and the camp in the desolate desert area.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
“Six soldiers have been martyred and 14 others were wounded in the terrorist attack,” an official told the AFP news agency, speaking on condition of anonymity and adding that it was a “preliminary toll”.
Jordan’s state TV described the incident as a “cowardly terrorist attack”.
The army said in a brief statement that “several of the attacking vehicles were destroyed”.
In an official statement on Tuesday, the country’s army chief declared northern and north eastern border areas with Syria as closed military areas.
The attack came two weeks after five Jordanian intelligence agents were killed when a gunman stormed the General Intelligence Directorate office in Ain el-Basha near the Palestinian refugee camp of al Baqa’a.
No information on the motives or affiliation of the attacker has been released by the Jordanian authorities.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) controls large areas in neighbouring Syria and Iraq, and Jordan has fortified border defences to prevent attacks and infiltration attempts.
Jordan has also widened a crackdown on ISIL sympathisers at home, jailing hundreds in the past two years for promoting the group’s ideas on social media.
The kingdom is a member of the US-led international military coalition against ISIL.