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Friday Papers: Or Where-O-Where is Tariq al-Fadhli

Al-Sharq al-Awsat has the run down of yesterday’s fighting in Zanjibar. From these news reports including the one in al-Quds al-Arabi and Mareb Press’ coverage of the clashes as well as what I heard from Yemenis it sounds like a fairly violent fight with heavy weaponry being deployed on all sides.

The casualty figures in the three reports range from 8 – 16 dead and at least 30 wounded, including the deputy security directory in Zanjibar. The articles mention that al-Fadhli’s compound was besieged, but apparently not very well as he has reportedly taken off for the mountains in what appears to be, at least superficially, a repeat of his flight in December 1992 after the hotel bombings in Aden. I do not think it is much of a secret where he went, but my money is on a particular mountain cluster that begins with a mim, after the definite article of course. Other guesses? The betting windows are open and action is heavy.

In 1992, it took two separate mediation committees to convince him to turn himself in, but that was a different Yemen. Still the man who convinced him to turn himself in last time is still around, but my guess is that he doesn’t have as much luck convincing al-Fadhli to come down from the mountains.


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