Jordan's King Abdullah describes 'shock and pain' over alleged coup plot
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fairly difficult
Monarch says authorities foiled an act of sedition with arrests of former crown prince and others
Jordan's king has claimed authorities foiled an act of sedition with the weekend arrests of a former crown prince and 17 other people, describing the events as the "most painful" ordeal of his reign.

"Nothing can come close to the shock and the pain and anger I felt, as a brother, and head of the Hashemite family, and as a leader to this dear people," the king said in a written statement on Wednesday.

Speaking four days after Prince Hamzah was detained, King Abdullah said his half-brother was "at home under my protection" and that the former heir to the Jordanian throne had offered him his loyalty.

The belated remarks did little to mask the most serious public rift in the ruling family during the past 20 years, and offered no clarification of officials' claims that a foreign government had backed a coup that Hamzah was in the final stages of organising.

However, they cast a spotlight on the dilemma faced by Abdullah, who by avoiding a public address aimed to douse a challenge to his authority without being seen to test the allegiances of the country's powerful tribes. Hamzah has been a popular and charismatic royal, but…
Martin Chulov
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