Written By: Shuaib M. al-Mosawa
Article Date: Jul 10, 2012 - 11:49:22 AM
The Republican Guard Brigade’s commander kidnapped last month was set free on Sunday following retaliation, a brigade officer said. Murad al-Awbali, commander of the 26 Republican Guard Brigade, was kidnapped on June 28 by defected and rival soldiers who demanded their payment to be continued.
“The chief [Awbali] is just now with me inside the car, heading towards home,” said Major Ali al-Hadhiri, the Communication Officer at the 26 Brigade. Tensions between the Khawlan tribe, to whom the kidnappers belong to, and Sanhan tribe of Awbali, had tightened as the Sanhan retaliated by kidnapping dozens of Khawlan tribesmen three days ago.
“The release was as a result of the Sanhan tribe’s pressure- through its traditions… It was neither the mediation effort nor the state’s,” said al- Hadhiri. He said that those kidnapped as retaliation were all freed in exchange for Awbali.
The kidnappers of Awbali claimed that they had due payments that Awbali held due to their support for the anti-regime protest.
Salaries of 200 soldiers, who defected at early protest, were returned, but there were some 200 others whose demands were denied as they had been dismissed for a long time, said Hadhiri.
While hold captive, Awbali remained at the house of the head of al-Islah Party, Ibrahim Salah, in a village in Khawlan tribe, said Hadhiri.
The 26 Republican Brigades is based in Fardat Nihm, north of Sana’a, where armed tribes who supported anti-government protest engaged in confrontations with republican guards live. In the early protest back in 2011, Nihm tribes stormed republican guard brigades.
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