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Officials: Jordan MP fires on fellow lawmaker

September 10, 2013

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — A Jordanian lawmaker is accused of chasing a fellow deputy through the halls of parliament on Tuesday, firing at him with an automatic rifle before being overpowered, officials said.

No one was hurt in the fracas, which reportedly erupted as a result of a personal dispute between the two men, but prosecutors in the capital Amman have charged alleged shooter Talal Sharif with attempted murder, an official said.

Both men, like many in the 180-seat chamber, were prominent members of the traditional Bedouin tribes with no particular ideological agenda.

Jordan’s parliamentary debates can often turn rowdy, with lawmakers hurling shoes or bottled water at each other. Over the summer, a deputy tried to point his gun at another lawmaker during a televised debate but was overpowered by colleagues.

This is the first time however that a firearm has actually been discharged.

Tuesday’s shooting angered Jordan’s King Abdullah II, who instructed parliament speaker Saad Hayel Srour to hand over Sharif to police custody, according to a royal palace statement.

Amman prosecutor Abdullah Abol-Ghanam charged Sharif with attempted murder, possession of a firearm without a license, resisting police arrest and disturbing public order, according to an official in his office who could not be named because it was an ongoing case.

If convicted, he faces 15 years in jail.

The official said Qusai al-Dmeisi, the other deputy who was the target of the shooting, had lodged a complaint with the prosecutor earlier in the day.

He said Sharif was detained for 15 days, pending questioning.

Update hourly