(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Dozens of Syrians were injured when Syrian military forces ambushed a group attempting to cross into Jordan late Saturday as part of a new military campaign targeting refugees, according to security sources and relief workers.
A Jordanian military source stationed in the border region said Syrian military forces opened fire on hundreds of civilians attempting to cross into the Kingdom illegally late Saturday, injuring dozens.
Al Kitab and Sunna Society, one of the major charity organisations providing assistance to displaced Syrians in the north, confirmed that 180 families had entered Jordan between late Saturday and early Sunday, many of them suffering from bullet wounds and third-degree burns.
Security personnel transferred the injured to government hospitals in Ramtha and the surrounding area, where one of them was pronounced dead on arrival, the military source added.
Relief workers say Ramtha witnessed an influx of unaccompanied Syrian children on Sunday, sparking fears that their parents and relatives had been either arrested or killed in Saturday's attack.
Syrian activists say the military campaign has closed major smuggling routes to prevent potential rebels and army defectors from reaching Jordan.
"The killing may have slowed in Homs and Daraa, but the regime is increasing the killing of Homs and Daraa residents trying to flee," Abu Mohammed, a member of the Syrian Local Coordination Committee currently residing in the Kingdom, told The Jordan Times.
According to Abu Mohammed, some 300 Syrian families remain camped out in the border region awaiting an opportunity to cross into the Kingdom.
Damascus is continuing to impose a six-week-old border clampdown, barring the entry of civilians into the Kingdom through official crossing points and forcing refugees to cross into the country illegally.
Saturday's attack came amid a recent increase in the number of Syrians arriving in Jordan, at a pace aid agencies say has reached some 500 per day.
Jordan follows an open-border policy, offering refuge to all Syrians crossing into the Kingdom legally or illegally and providing urgent medical care to injured refugees.