Yemen, May 29: Yemeni military officials say hundreds of Islamic militants have tightened their grip on a southern town two days after seizing banks and government offices there.
Critics accused embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh of allowing the militants to seize Zinjibar to distract from three months of mass protests calling for an end to his 33-year rule. Saleh has warned that without him, al-Qaida would seize control of Yemen.
The officials say militants seized tanks Saturday night after the governor, the security chief and the head of an army brigade left the town.
Army units clashed with the militants outside the city. Medical officials said Sunday six civilians were killed.
All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. AP