Armed groups affiliated to al-Qaeda calling itself as “the Islamic Jihad Group” took over on Saturday night a archaeological town of Rada’a and captured the famous castle of Alamiria and its mosque, local sources affirmed.
Local sources said that armed clashes between the militants and residents are still going, pointing out that the number of casualties are unknown.
Flocks of militants flow to the town, some 150 km southeast of the capital, Sana’a, amid fears of residents who worry of turning their town to a conflict battlefield, added the sources.
Yemeni analysts said al-Qaeda attempts to expand its control on Yemeni areas, pointing out that the capture on Rada’a will help al-Qaeda reach other Yemeni strategic areas.
Yemeni news reports said local residents led by the tribal leader, Mohmmad Al-Nosairi, are strongly fighting al-Qaeda militants near the castle of Alamria.
They said that the militants are led by Tariq Al-Dahab, a relative of Anwar Al-Walaki, a Yemeni-American cleric who was killed in a American drone strike last fall.