Written By: Mohammed al-Kibsi
Article Date: Jan 15, 2012 - 9:10:18 PM
Fighters of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) have seized Rada’a town southeast of the capital Sana’a on Sunday.
Security and local sources said the militants over raided the small police force that was assigned for insuring security affairs of the town when the heavy armed militants broke into the town.
Rada’a town of al-Baydah province, 170 km south east of Sana’a is a historical city famous for al-Amryah citadel and mosque.
Al-Baidha province borders Abyan province that is controlled by AQAP.
Local sources said the al-Qaeda militants broke into Rada’a town on Saturday night, seizing the ancient citadel and mosque of al-Amryah.
Also Sunday, a Yemeni military official said AQAP militants executed two Yemeni soldiers in Abyan province.
He said that the soldiers were abducted two months ago while fighting al-Qaeda militants west of Zinjubar, the provincial capital of Abyan province.
AQAP has been taking advantage of nearly a year of internal turmoil over demands that President Ali Abdullah Saleh step down to take control of areas in Yemen’s south.
Islamist militants began seizing territory in the southern Abyan province last spring, solidifying their control over the town of Ja’ar in April before taking the provincial capital, Zinjubar, in May.
AQAP has changed the name of Ja’ar to Waqar.
Abyan province that is the homeland of Yemen’s vice president Abdu Raboo Mansour Hadi is semi-controlled by AQAP that even has made their own checkpoints on the roads linking Abyan to other provinces, raising their black flags.
Witnesses that were travelling from Aden to Hadramout provinces through Abyan said they passed through at least three checkpoints of AQAP.
• Yemen seizes military materiel
• Yemen: Democracy School certified as division of Defense for Children International
• Yemen’s army shells tribal areas after pipeline sabotage
• Sawa’a organization calls for Jewish involvement in Yemen’s National Dialogue
• US aircraft carrying soldiers, equipment lands in Yemen