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Jordan MP opens fire in parliament

A Jordanian MP has been accused of opening fire on a colleague with an automatic rifle, chasing him through parliament before being overpowered.

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

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 lively, with members hurling shoes or bottled water at each other. Over the summer, a deputy tried to point his gun at another during a televised debate but was overpowered by colleagues.

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

The shooting angered Jordan's King Abdullah II, who instructed parliament speaker Saad Hayel Srour to hand over Sharif to police custody.

Sharif was charged with attempted murder, possession of a firearm without a licence, resisting police arrest and disturbing public order. If convicted he faces 15 years in jail.

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