Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for control
over the Yemeni province of Abyan. AQAP, led by Saudi nationals, said Abyan
has been turned into an "Islamic emirate" and ordered women to stay indoors.
"Any women who urgently needs to leave, should be with one of her male
relatives and should have identification with her," AQAP said.
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In a statement on March 30, Al Qaida said it has expelled security
forces loyal to the regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Middle East Newsline reported. AQAP fighters
were said to have captured several towns in the southern province, including
Jaar, in which 150 people were killed in an explosion of a munitions
AQAP was also said to have been operating telephone and other
communications in Abyan. So far, neither Yemen's military or security forces
were reported to have attempted to recapture Abyan.
The takeover of Abyan came amid rising unrest against the Saleh regime.
The regime was said to have halted all counter-insurgency missions against
both AQAP in the south and Iranian-backed Shi'ites in the north.