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Tariq al Dahab, Yemen Al Qaeda Leader, Dead, Says Terrorist Group

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Militant leader Tareq al-Dahab -- a brother-in-law of US-born jihadist cleric Anwar al-Awlaqi who was killed in a US drone strike last September, sits in the Amiriyah mosque in the town of Rada, 130 kilometres (85 miles) southeast of the capital Sanaa, on January 22, 2012. (AFP/Getty Images) | Getty

CAIRO (AP) — Yemen's branch of al-Qaida has confirmed the death of a senior leader, who officials say died in a bloody family feud.

A statement posted on a militant website by Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula on Monday said that government agents "motivated by the hireling regime in Sanaa" were responsible for the death of its "emir", Tariq al-Dahab.

It did not comment beyond that on claims by officials and tribal leaders that al-Dahab had been slain Thursday at his home in southern Yemen by his half brother Hizam. Hizam and 15 others were then reported to have been killed by Dahab's followers.

The clashes came days before Feb. 21 elections to approve a new leader to replace President Ali Abdullah Saleh. A year-long uprising has sought to push Saleh from power.

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