The Yemeni military reports that it has freed Zinjibar from the control of al Qaeda-linked militants. Residents have confirmed that the army has secured the eastern parts of the city, but report continued fighting for complete control. Some militants fled the city in the direction of Kod. Yemeni state TV ran footage of Yemeni soldiers in the city. A government spokesman said that the military “will continue to sweep in and secure the city of Zinjibar, in addition to the other recaptured towns. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States government provided logistical support during the ongoing operations.” Yemeni Vice President Abdul Rab Mansour al Hadi reported that 90 soldiers were killed in the latest push against the militants.
An explosion occurred outside of the gates of a Yemeni army colonel’s house in Aden. A security official reported that the explosion destroyed a car and the house’s gates, but the colonel had survived the apparent assassination attempt.
Mass anti-government demonstrations occurred throughout the country. Locals report that 500,000 people turned out in Taiz, where fighting broke out between tribesmen and security forces Friday. Defected Yemeni troops in Sana’a have accused loyalist troops of firing four tank shells at their positions in the capital ahead of negotiations.
A resolution to the political crisis in the capital will not end the fragmentation of the Yemeni state, which remains at risk of a broader armed conflict. The current situation has increased al Qaeda's operating space in Yemen.
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