BAGHDAD - Iraq has closed its main border post with Syria and sent troops to the frontier after Syrian rebels took control of the Abu Kamal crossing, a local mayor said on Thursday.

"Qaim post, opposite Abu Kamal, is closed and now under the control of the Iraqi army," the mayor of Qaim, Fahan Fitaihan, said. Iraqi troops had also taken over another nearby post from Iraqi customs officials, he said.

He said the Syrian Free Army had raised its flag on the other side of the border.

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