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Yemen Town Falls to al-Qaeda

Meanwhile, truce tentatively holding in Sanaa
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2011 10:02 AM CDT

(Newser) – 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.

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"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.)

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