The leader of an Islamic militant group who was critically wounded in an assassination attempt about two months ago died of his wounds Wednesday, Palestinian officials said.
Abdullah Shreidi, 31, died at dawn at his home in the Ein el-Hilweh refugee camp on the outskirts of the southern port city of Sidon, where he was still being treated for severe injuries sustained in the May 19 attempt on his life. "He is hopelessly struggling for his life. He is in a coma. His condition is desperate," one doctor said after the assassination attempt.
Shreidi was leader of the al-Noor faction, an Islamic militant group that broke away from the radical Usbat al-Ansar group, which is on the US list of terrorist organizations.
The assassination attempt against Shreidi sparked fighting between his supporters and members of Fatah. Eight people were killed and some 30 others wounded in the clashes.
Shreidi had been blamed for several recent bombings and violent acts in Ein el-Hilweh, including the killing of Fatah policeman Nazih Shreidi, a distant cousin. Following that killing, Palestinian activists called for Abdullah Shreidi to be "liquidated," and he had been on the run since then. Abdullah decided to take part in his cousin's funeral to show that he had nothing to do with his killing.
Abdullah Shreidi is the elder son of Sheikh Hisham Shreidi, the founder of Usbat Al Ansar who was assassinated at Ein El-Hilweh's Al Noor mosque in 1991. Abu Mohjen, the nom de guerre of Palestinian militant Ahmed Abdul Karim Al Saadi, took over the group's leadership after Sheikh Shreidi's death.
Abu Mohjen vanished after he was sentenced death by a Beirut court for masterminding the 1994 assassination of Sheikh Nizar Halaby as he was climbing into his car in front of his house in the Lebanese capital.
Upon Abu Mohjen's disappearance, Abdullah Shreidi clashed in a power struggle with Abu Mohjen's younger brother for the leadership of Usbat Al Ansar.
When Abdullah's bid for the group's leadership failed, he broke away to form Usbat Al Noor. After his death, many Palestinian affairs analysts argue the group of less than a hundred activists will disintegrate. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )