AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordan says one of its soldiers has been killed at the Syrian border in clashes with armed militants trying to illegally cross into the neighboring country to join rebels fighting Bashar Assad’s regime.

He was the first Jordanian soldier killed in violence spilling over from the Syrian civil war.

Information Minister Sameeh Maaytah said the soldier was killed early Monday. Maaytah did not say whether the militants were Jordanians or foreign fighters trying to join the fray in Syria. A number of foreign Islamists are fighting in Syria alongside the rebels.

Jordan’s banned Salafi movement — which promotes an ultraconservative brand of Islam — has sent several fighters to Syria in past months and Jordanian border patrols have caught some of them recently.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.