Kusayla ibn Lemten

   One of the earliest kings of the tribes found between the western Aurès and Oualili to the north of presentday Fès constituted in the early 670s a confederation with its seat in Tlemcen. Kusayla and his people, who under Byzantine rule had become Christians, made their submission to the advancing Arab armies but after a while revolted, were defeated, and embraced Islam. On `Uqba Ibn Nafi's return eastward, Kusayla succeeded in organizing a coalition of Berber tribes and Byzantine troops and attacked the Arabs. In a fierce battle near Biskra (683), `Uqba and his soldiers fell fighting, whereas Kusayla and his Awraba took control of al-Qayrawan. He extended his rule to most of present-day Tunisia and eastern Algeria. Kusayla was defeated and killed (690) at the gates of al-Qayrawan by an army sent by the Umayyad caliph `Abd al-Malik (685-705).

Historical Dictionary of the Berbers (Imazighen) . . 2014.

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