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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 June 2006, 12:00 GMT 13:00 UK
Jordan MPs face Zarqawi charges
Jordanians protests outside parliament
Hundreds of Jordanians protested against the politicians
Four Jordanian politicians have been charged with inciting sectarianism after paying their condolences to the family of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

The four members of the Islamic Action Front (IAF) were detained on Sunday after visiting the Jordanian home town of the former al-Qaeda leader in Iraq.

Families of those killed in bombings in Amman in November, blamed on Zarqawi's group, had complained against the MPs.

Zarqawi was killed in an air strike in Iraq last week.

'Martyr'

The four politicians - Mohammed Abu Fares, Jaafar Horani, Ali Abu Sukkar and Ibrahim Mashukhi - have been charged with fuelling national discord and inciting sectarianism, an IAF spokesman said.

The MPs sparked outrage when they visited Zarqawi's family in the town of Zarqa, north of Amman, two days after his killing in the American air strike last week.

One of the politicians reportedly called Zarqawi a "martyr".

Hundreds of pro-government supporters staged a protest against the politicians on Monday and called for the dissolution of parliament.

A leader of IAF, Jordan's largest Islamic party, defended the politicians.

They "paid their condolences to the family of a deceased man regardless of their position towards him and his behaviour," Hamza Mansoor was quoted by the Associated Press as saying.

About 60 people died in the Amman bombings, for which Zarqawi's group claimed responsibility.


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