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Al-Qaeda Creates Taliban 'Capital' in Yemen

A large city in southeastern Yemen has fallen to the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization, barely a week after the fall of Abyan province.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 6/2/2011, 12:04 PM / Last Update: 6/2/2011, 3:07 PM

One of the largest cities in the southeastern Yemeni province of Shabwa – and the stronghold of American-born terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki – has fallen to Al Qaeda, helping the terror group to create its Taliban-style emirate.

“Following fierce battles with government forces, fighters of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) managed to seize the whole city of Azzan in the southeast province of Shabwa on Wednesday, announcing that the city of Azzan joins in their Islamic emirate,” a local official told the Chinese Xinhua news agency.

The statement was confirmed by local tribal leaders and residents in separate telephone conversations with the news agency.

In addition, on Wednesday the terrorists captured the Wadhiee district, the ancestral homeland of Yemen's Vice President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi, taking advantage of the chaos that has ensued due to the revolt of tribal forces against the regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Three days ago, a Yemen-based journalist told Israel National News, “Sana'a is chaotic now. Clashes everywhere and explosions heard every second. Hope it ends positively in Yemen. Good luck.” In deference to his security situation, we have chosen not to identify him by name, nor the news organization with which he works.

Last Saturday, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula seized Zinjibar, the provincial capital of Abyan, approximately 480 kilometers south of Sana'a, the Yemeni capital. AQAP declared the city to be the capital of its newly-established Taliban-style Islamic emirate, according to Xinhua.

The terrorist group has in fact been working for more than a year towards this moment, organizing thousands of operatives in various provinces in southern Yemen. Hundreds of Al Qaeda terrorists are also believed to be based in Shabwa, some 450 kilometers southeast of Sana'a.