Jordan arrests MP for shooting in parliament

Jordanian MP, left, being held back by his fellow lawmakers at the parliament in Amman on Tuesday.
Jordanian MP, left, being held back by his fellow lawmakers at the parliament in Amman on Tuesday.
Jordanian lawmaker Talal Sharif has been arrested after being accused of chasing a fellow deputy through the halls of Parliament, firing at him with an automatic rifle before being overpowered, officials say.

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 Sharif with attempted murder, an official said on Tuesday.

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

Video footage emerged showing Qusai al-Damissi removing his shoes and his belt during the dispute with Sharif, who then fired his gun at least three times into the ceiling and wall immediately outside the parliament’s main hall, according to Al-Jazeera.

Jordan’s parliamentary debates can often turn rowdy, with lawmakers hurling shoes or bottled water at each other. 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.

RA/BA

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