AMMAN: The Jordanian army killed 27 drug smugglers in a clash early Thursday as they tried to enter the kingdom from Syria, it said in a statement.

The traffickers were supported by an armed group, the army said, adding that “a preliminary search was conducted in the area, and large quantities of narcotics were found”.

It was the deadliest clash yet in the Jordanian army’s fight against smugglers on the Syrian border, whose activities have intensified in recent months.

The military operation at dawn “thwarted attempts to infiltrate and smuggle large quantities of narcotics from Syrian territory into Jorda­ni­an territory,” the army said.

“The smugglers were supported by other armed gro­u­ps,” added the army, which said its troops also wounded an unknown number of traffickers while others fled back into Syrian territory.

Britain-based monitoring group, the Syrian Obser­vatory for Human Rights, which has an extensive network of sources in war-torn Syria, also reported the clash, labelling it an “attempt to smuggle drugs from the region of Suweida” in southern Syria.

Published in Dawn, January 28th, 2022

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