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'Al-Qaida' takes south Yemeni city

[ 2011-05-30 10:44]     字号 [] [] []  
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More than 200 suspected al-Qaida gunmen have wrested control of the south Yemeni city of Zinjibar after heavy fighting with security forces that left 16 dead, an official said on Sunday.

The Yemeni opposition immediately accused embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh of having allowed Zinjibar, capital of Abyan province, to fall to the gunmen to raise fears concerning al-Qaida and boost his flagging international support.

The suspected al-Qaida fighters "were able to gain control of the city of Zinjibar ... and took over all government facilities", except for the headquarters of the 25th mechanized brigade, which is besieged by militants, the security official said.

Witnesses said that the gunmen were battling members of the brigade on Sunday.

"We will fight until the last bullet, and we will not surrender to the gunmen who killed our colleagues," an officer from the brigade said.

Residents said heavy fighting in the city on Friday and Saturday, and said the attackers had freed dozens of prisoners from the main jail in Zinjibar.

One witness said on condition of anonymity that the gunmen executed soldiers who surrendered, and that residents were not able to bury them.

The United States is concerned that tribal rivalries are complicating efforts to reach a power transfer deal in Yemen and believes al-Qaida is trying to exploit instability there, senior US officials said on Saturday.

The US remains in close contact with European and Gulf allies and continues to review options to increase pressure on Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to sign an agreement to step down, officials said.


1. What city did Al Qaida gain control?

2. How many people died?

3. What is the name of the Yemeni President?


1. Zinjibar.

2. 16.

3. Ali Abdullah Saleh.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

'Al-Qaida' takes south Yemeni city

About the broadcaster:

'Al-Qaida' takes south Yemeni city

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.