Yemen chief suspected of al-Qaida links told to surrender

November 6, 2012 14:24

SANAA - A tribal leader suspected of links to al-Qaida has been given an ultimatum to surrender to pro-government forces besieging his home in south Yemen on Tuesday or be seized by force, an official said.

Tarek al-Fadli, who was raised in Saudi Arabia and fought in Afghanistan, heads a tribe in Abyan province. He took refuge in the mountains over the summer as a US-backed military onslaught drove militants linked to al-Qaida from southern towns.

Fadli's return to his home in the port city of Zinjibar on Monday has led to an armed standoff between his supporters and hundreds of troops and militiamen allied to the government.

"We gave him a warning to surrender himself right away, otherwise he will be forced out of the house by security," the security official from Abyan told Reuters. A deadline for Fadli to give himself up was due to expire on Tuesday afternoon.

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