According to Reuters, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has taken control of another major city in southern Yemen:
Islamist militants have taken control of the southern Yemeni coastal town of Shaqra, the third town to fall into their hands, tribal sources and residents said on Wednesday.
The tribal sources said government forces had allowed the militants to seize the town with little resistance. The militants, which the government says have ties to al-Qaida, entered the town in cars from another city already under their control.
AQAP is already in control of Zinjibar, the provincial capital of Abyan, which is about 30 miles southwest of Sharqa. AQAP seized control of Zinjibar in late May and has held it despite the Yemeni Army’s attempts to retake the city. The city of Azzan fell to AQAP in early June. AQAP is also in control of numerous towns throughout several of Yemen’s southern provinces.
For more information on AQAP and its political front group, Ansar al Sharia, see LWJ report, US ‘drones’ kill 15 al Qaeda fighters in southern Yemen.
Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.