(AFP) – Apr 25, 2011
AMMAN — Syria on Monday sealed off its border with Jordan, the kingdom's information minister Taher Adwan said, hours after troops backed by tanks swept into the Syrian southern flashpoint town Daraa.
"Syria closed its land borders with Jordan. The Syrian decision is related to the internal situation in Syria," Adwan told the state-run Petra news agency.
"We hope movement at the border goes back to normal soon."
Thousands of Syrian troops backed by tanks swept into Daraa, around five kilometres (three miles) from the Jordanian frontier, firing on residents and leaving bodies lying in the streets, activists and witnesses said.
One witness reported seeing five bodies in a car that had been riddled with bullets.
"We tried to cross into Syria but the Syrian authorities closed the only two border posts with Jordan, Daraa and Naseeb," a Jordanian witness in Amman told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Another witness said he could "see Syrian tanks, armoured cars and troops blocking the road to Daraa."
However, Syria's official news agency SANA cited the director general of customs, Mustapha Bukai, as denying the border had been sealed.
"All the border posts with our neighbours, including Jordan, are open. The movement of cars and goods is normal," he said.
The military assault comes as Syria is engulfed in anti-regime protests and amid a crackdown on demonstrators across the country in which according to rights activists and witnesses more than 135 people have been killed and scores arrested since Friday.
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