Unidentified gunmen assassinated a cleric in Hadramout governorate Wednesday known for his strong anti-Al-Qaeda preachings.
Imam Ali Bin Salem Bawazeer was leaving the Al-Rawda Social Foundation’s library in Gail Bawazeer district when he was assassinated. Bawazeer was on his way to the Me’ian Al-Sheikh mosque, according to Sheikh Kamal Bamakhrama, another cleric in the district.
Bawazeer was the Imam of Me’ian Al-Sheikh mosque and the father of eight children—five boys and three girls.
Bawazeer said in his lectures and on his Facebook posts that he had personally met with several Al-Qaeda affiliates who had confessed to assassinations against military and security personnel in the governorate. Bawazeer advised them to repent and to surrender, he said.
Bawazeer isn’t the first anti-Al-Qaeda cleric to be killed in Hadramout. Imam Salim Jaber was killed on Aug. 29, 2012 in a drone strike, according to a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) released in October.
“On August 29, 2012, four missiles launched from a drone killed five men outside a mosque in Kashamir, a farming village of mud-and-stone huts in Hadramout province in southeast Yemen,” the report said. “The strike killed three suspected AQAP members who were strangers to the village. It also killed two pillars of the community: a popular cleric who preached against AQAP, and one of the village’s only policemen.” According to HRW, neither the Yemeni government nor the American government has compensated Bin Jaber’s family.
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