Tareq al-Dahab dies with five bodyguards after being ambushed at mosque
A leader of al-Qaida’s wing in Yemen has been killed by his brother at a mosque, in a family dispute which then led to the brother being killed in a revenge attack, according to tribal and security sources.
Tareq al-Dahab – brother-in-law of US-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki who died in an American drone attack last year – was killed with five bodyguards by his brother Hizam and fighters from the Dahab tribe while praying in the early hours of Thursday at a mosque in al-Baydah province.
“Tareq al-Dahab and five of his bodyguards were killed in a mosque in the al-Manasih area near his home,” said a tribal source. “His brother Hizam had three men with him and they killed Tareq and his men easily because they surprised them.”
Tareq’s followers later avenged the deaths by blowing up Hizam’s house, killing him, tribal sources said.
A third brother, Nabil al-Dahab, is now expected to become al-Qaida’s leader in al-Baydah.
Tareq and his brothers, who have backed different sides in Yemen’s complicated political struggle, had been involved in a two-year fight for the leadership of the Dahab tribe after their father’s death.
Tareq, who lost out on leadership of the tribe to his eldest brother, Majid, led an al-Qaida assault on the town of Radda, 100 miles south-east of the capital, Sana’a, last month.
Tribal sources said Hizam had supported the outgoing president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who handed over to his deputy in November after protests against his 33-year rule. It was not clear if this was a factor in the deadly fraternal feud.
Al-Qaida’s Yemen-based wing emerged as one of its most active and ambitious after setbacks to al-Qaida groups in Saudi Arabia and Iraq. The organisation has exploited months of anti-Saleh unrest and other simmering conflicts in Yemen to gain swaths of territory, especially in the south.
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