Middle East

Jordan nabs Zarqawi nephew on Syria border: lawyer

This undated image from video, released by the The U.S. military command Thursday, May 4, 2006, purportedly shows Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. (AP Photo/Defense Department)

AMMAN: A top Islamist lawyer said Tuesday the nephew of slain Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was among six jihadists arrested in Jordan last week as they tried to cross into Syria.

"Jordanian border guards on Saturday arrested six mujahedeen, including Abu Asyad, the nephew of Zarqawi, as they attempted to go to Syria for jihad," Musa Abdullat, a leading lawyer for Islamist groups, told AFP.

Jordanian-born Zarqawi was killed in an air strike by the US military in Iraq in 2006.

"They are expected to be charged and jailed for between five and 15 years," Abdullat said.

The government has said without elaborating that Jordanian border guards clashed at dawn Saturday with armed men in a border area and arrested all of the gunmen.

"Around 100 mujahedeen have joined the Syrian (rebel) Tawhid Brigade. Six of them have been martyred," Abdullat added.

At least 10 jihadists were arrested in Jordan when they tried enter Syria in April and June, according to Salafist leaders.

Jordan shares land borders with Iraq, Israel, Syria, the West Bank and Saudi Arabia.

It has beefed up its security along the border with Syria, since a deadly uprising against the government of President Bashar al-Assad erupted in mid-March last year.

The kingdom currently hosts more than 200,000 Syrians who have fled the bloodletting.





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