Aden: Yemen`s Army has freed the base of the
25th Mechanised Brigade, besieged by al Qaeda suspects in the
country`s south since late May, state news agency Saba
reported on Saturday.
Yemeni "President Ali Abdullah Saleh ... congratulated
the heroes of the armed and security forces for ending the
blockade by al Qaeda militants in Abyan on the 25th Mechanised
Brigade that has lasted more than three months," said Saba.
A military official also announced that "the army has
freed the central security building which has been under
al Qaeda`s control and will begin combing the city (of
Zinjibar, capital of Abyan province) in the coming hours to
hunt down al Qaeda militants."
In May, a group known as the Partisans of Sharia (Islamic
Law), believed to be affiliated with al Qaeda, seized control
of most of Zinjibar and besieged the base of the 25th
Mechanised Brigade on the outskirts of the town.
Since anti-government protests swept Yemen in late
January, militants have taken advantage of the weakening of
central authority to set up base in several southern provinces
as well as Maarib province in the east.
The United Nations and Western governments have expressed
growing concern about the role al Qaeda might play in Yemen if
the regime of veteran Saleh collapses and a power vacuum