[QODLink]
Middle East
Yemeni group threatens to take over Sanaa
Emboldened by capture of town southeast of capital, suspected al-Qaeda-linked fighters vow to impose strict Islamic law.
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2012 05:29



A suspected al-Qaeda-linked group that took over Radda, a small town in Yemen about 170km southeast of Sanaa, say that they are closing in on the Yemeni capital.

Tareq al-Dahab, the Ansar al-Sharia chief, is related to Anwar al-Awlaki, a US citizen who was accused by the US of a leadership role in the Yemeni branch of al-Qaeda and who was assassinated in a drone strike last year.

The fighters swept up from the southern and eastern provinces on Sunday - to within just a few hundred miles of Sanaa.
 

For more on Yemen, visit our Spotlight page

While the government in Sanaa has been preoccupied with steering Yemen towards elections scheduled for February, the fighters are taking advantage of the political instability.
 
Earlier, al-Dahab released a video online, repeating demands for jailed members of his group to be freed.

Tribesmen negotiating with the group on behalf of the government said the fighters, agreed to leave if their leader’s brother and several others were freed.

The group are also promising that the town, and the country, will soon be under strict Islamic law.
 
But not all the locals are happy to see the group.
 
The political opposition blames the government for losing control of the security situation, and despite earlier indications that the elections might be postponed, the government says it is sticking to the timetable.

Yemen's foreign minister says a presidential election will be held as scheduled.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi said his government was committed to hold presidential elections on February 21.

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
A revolutionary new treatment is halving hospitalisation rates for severe asthma sufferers.
The conservative UMP party suffers from crippling internal divisions and extreme debt from mismanagement.
More than fifty years of an armed struggle for independence from Spain might be coming to an end in the Basque Country.
After the shooting-down of flight MH17, relatives ask what the carrier has learned from still-missing MH370.
Human rights and corporate responsibility prompt a US church to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
join our mailing list