AMMAN - A Jordanian soldier was killed in clashes with Islamist fighters trying to cross the country's northern border into Syria, a cabinet minister said on Monday.

"The soldier died during an infiltration attempt," Minister of Information Samih Maaytah told Reuters, adding that it was the first death in Jordanian army ranks on the border since the uprising against Syrian Preident Bashar Assad broke out in March last year.

Troops detained 12 Islamist fighters after the clashes, which occurred overnight, an army statement said.

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