A coastal Yemen town appears to have fallen completely to al-Qaeda, even as a tentative truce in capital Sanaa took hold, ending more than a week of streetfighting, reports Reuters. But the price was the fall of Zinjibar —which critics charge was a deliberate concession on the part of embattled president Ali Abdullah Saleh, in order to stoke fears about al-Qaeda and support for himself. "Security withdrew and left the city of Zinjibar to armed Islamic elements that looted government institutions," said an opposition leader.
"About 300 Islamic militants and al-Qaeda men came into Zinjibar and took over everything," a resident said. Yemen and its upheaval could prove strategic for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, notes Reuters: It borders Saudi Arabia and sits on a vital shipping lane for oil tankers. Click for Osama bin Laden's plans for oil tankers. (Read more al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula stories.)