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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 November 2005, 12:05 GMT
Jordan king names new court staff
Anti-terror demonstration in Amman
A wave of popular anger has followed the hotel blasts
King Abdullah of Jordan has dismissed his royal court chief and named a new national security adviser following last week's suicide bombings in Amman.

New security chief Maaruf al-Bakhit was formerly Jordan's ambassador to Israel.

Nine of the king's advisers have also resigned, although officials said the shake-up was planned and not linked to the blasts that left more than 60 dead.

Interior ministry officials are drawing up a new anti-terror bill to be fast-tracked through parliament.

"A new law was already being worked on... but the government has decided to give it an urgent priority," said Interior Minister Awni Yervas.

Mr Yervas said the new legislation - triggered by a rocket attack in Aqaba in August - may draw on elements of British law as well as legislation from other Arab states.

Old guard

Mr Bakhit's predecessor as security advissr, Saad Khair, had already been due to retire before the attacks.

Taking over the royal court - which acts on behalf of the king, who holds executive power in Jordan - will be Salem Turk, a former deputy army chief of staff.

He replaces Faisal Fayez, a tribal leader and former prime minister.

An official quoted by Reuters news agency said the choice signalled that King Abdullah intended to give influence back to respected old-guard figures from the Jordanian military.

It is a move away from young, liberal reformers dominating the court, which has become tarnished by perceptions of corruption, say correspondents.


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