Los Angeles Times

Jordan's tribes on collision course with monarchy over alleged plot

AMMAN, Jordan – It all began with cake. Sakher Fayez, a Jordanian activist, was celebrating his birthday with friends and relatives April 3 at his family's apartment building in Amman's upscale Khaldah district.

Around 4 p.m., a deliveryman came by with a cake no one had ordered. When Fayez's 16-year-old son opened the door, more than a dozen masked gunmen — dressed in black and bristling with machine guns — burst in, grabbing everyone in their path as they fanned out through the house.

"I can't describe the screaming, the women and kids shouting. They pushed us into the bedroom as they searched the house. They got our passports, took our mobiles," said Sahar, Fayez's sister.

"They cornered my nephew and threatened to shoot him when he tried to run away. This isn't the sort of

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