Iraq closes border with Jordan on key highway

An Iraqi official says authorities have shut the country's only border crossing with Jordan over security concerns, cutting a key route through a part of the country that has been the centre of anti-government protests.

The prime minister's spokesman, Ali Al Moussawi, did not specify the nature of the security fears on Wednesday, and said the closure was not intended to pressure protesters.

The highway from Baghdad to the Jordanian border runs through the province of Anbar. Protesters in the provincial capital Ramadi and other nearby areas have been protesting for more than two weeks along the highway over perceived second class treatment by the government.

The heavily travelled highway is Iraq's one of most vital routes for travellers and commerce.