The jihadists, some of whom “call themselves Ansar al Sharia, or Supporters of Islamic Law,” have declared their intention of forming an Islamic state. That, after all, is the fundamental purpose of jihad in all its forms, other “underlying causes” notwithstanding. “Source: Yemeni troops fight Islamists for control of province,” from CNN, June 19:
(CNN) — At least a dozen Islamic militants and two Yemeni troops died overnight as Yemen fights to wrest control of Abyan province from militants, a senior security official in the southern province told CNN Sunday.
Qasim Bin Hadi, the head of security in Zinjibar in Abyan, said that the city has turned into a ghost town and that clashes between government forces and al Qaeda militants have been nonstop the past two days.
“Bodies of dead people are everywhere in the streets,” said Bin Hadi.
Separately, more than 100 influential religious and tribal leaders said President Ali Abdullah Saleh was not able to lead the country and should step down.
“Saleh was injured seriously during the assassination attempt on his life. We call on Saleh to hand over powers to his vice president Abdu Rabu Mansoor Hadi, to save the country from further clashes and bloodshed,” said the statement, which was circulated to the media.
Saleh and other senior officials were injured June 3 in an attack on the mosque at the presidential palace. Saleh is being treated in Saudi Arabia. Officials loyal to him have said he will return when he has recovered. […]
In recent weeks, government troops have battled both anti-government tribal forces and Islamic militants, including al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. […]
According to residents in Zinjibar, militants have succeeded in seizing a large number of heavy artillery from the government during the clashes the past two days.