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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 November 2005, 14:18 GMT
Influential family spurns Zarqawi
Amman's rally
100,000 people took to the streets to protest against Zarqawi on Friday
The Jordanian-born head of al-Qaeda in Iraq has been disowned by dozens of his own kinsmen following the triple hotel attack in Amman earlier this month.

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's influential kinsmen took out adverts in three top Jordanian papers saying they had cut all ties with their relative.

Zarqawi has since seemed to try to justify the attacks, which killed dozens of guests at a wedding.

Some 100,000 people marched on Friday in a show of anger at the bombings.

The same day, an audio message purporting to be from Zarqawi once again sought to defend the triple hotel bombings, saying they were not meant to hit a Muslim wedding but US and Israeli intelligence agents.

But in the same message, the speaker warned of further attacks in the country, threatening to kill the country's king, Abdullah II.

We announce, and all the people are our witnesses, that we are innocent of him and all that emanates from him, whether action, assertion or decision
Family statement

Sunday's adverts were addressed to the king himself, stressing the prominent family's strong allegiance to the monarch.

"We denounce in the clearest terms all the terrorist actions claimed by the so-called Ahmed Fadheel al-Khalayleh, who calls himself Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and affirm that we the sons of the Khalayleh tribe, repudiate him," the statement read.

"We announce, and all the people are our witnesses, that we are innocent of him and all that emanates from him, whether action, assertion or decision."

It was signed by 57 members of the Al-Khalayleh clan, which is a branch of the Bani Hassan - one of the area's largest and most prominent Bedouin tribes.

Before the 8 November attack, Zarqawi enjoyed a certain amount of sympathy within some sections of Jordanian opinion, correspondents say.

But the death of so many civilians is thought to have eroded that sympathy very sharply, and the open repudiation of Zarqawi means that, in addition, he will no longer enjoy protection from his family or the wider Bedouin tribe to which he belongs.




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