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Syria troops kill three-year-old fleeing into Jordan

Syrian troops open fire on civilians fleeing into neighboring Jordan

AFP , Friday 27 Jul 2012
Syrian refugees and local residents perform night prayers during the holy month of Ramadan before a protest in front of the Syrian Embassy in Amman July 26, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)
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Syrian troops opened fire on a group of civilians fleeing into neighbouring Jordan, killing a three-year-old child, Jordanian officials said on Friday.

The president of Jordan's Kitab wal Sunna charity, which provides aid to some 50,000 Syrian refugees, said a Jordanian soldier who tried to help the fleeing civilians was wounded in Thursday night's shooting but that was denied by Information Minister Samih Maayatah.

"A group of Syrian refugees came under fire while trying to cross the border which caused the death of a child," Maayatah told AFP. "The Jordanian soldiers tried to protect them as they crossed the border when the Syrian army opened fire. The Jordanian army responded and allowed them to cross," he said.

Kitab wal Sunna chief Zayed Hamad said the child had been "shot in the neck and in the foot." "He was evacuated to Ramtha hospital but was already dead," Hamad added. He said Sergeant Bilal al-Rimuni was wounded while "attempting to rescue the child" but that was denied by Maayatah.

The Jordanian border town of Ramtha lies close to the Syrian city of Daraa, cradle of the more thanm 16-month-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's rule, and hosts a large number of Syrian refugees.

Jordan says it has taken in more than 140,000 Syrian refugees, of whom around 35,000 have been registered with the United Nations.

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