SANAA, May 27 (Xinhua) — The Yemen-based al-Qaida branch on Friday took over several government buildings, including two state- run banks, in the southern province of Abyan, a provincial government official told Xinhua.
“Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula defeated government forces on Friday following fierce clashes in Zinjibar, the provincial capital city of Abyan, and controlled almost the whole strategic city including the government facilities,” the official said on condition of anonymity.
“They (AQAP) seized the headquarters of the General Security Camp, the building of Civil Status, and two state-owned banks of Al-Ahli and the Agricultural Cooperative Credit Bank,” he said, adding that they also seized several privately-owned companies.
He also affirmed that fighters of AQAP are now controlling almost the whole city of Zinjibar and setting up their own checkpoints at all three entrances of the city.
A doctor at Al-Razi Hospital said they had received one body of al-Qaida militants, while 15 others, including three citizens, were sent to the hospital with serious injuries.
Meanwhile, an eyewitness told Xinhua that Yemeni fighter jets were striking Khanfar Mountain in Jaar city, which is a stronghold of AQAP and located nearby Zinjibar city.
AQAP has launched many sporadic attacks on Zinjibar in an attempt to take over it since the eruption of the four-month-long anti-government protests aiming at ousting Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been in power since 1978.
Abyan, some 480 km south of the capital Sanaa, is a key stronghold of resurgent AQAP which has carried out frequent attacks against the Yemeni security and military personnel since 2009.
|English.news.cn 2011-05-27 19:13:18|