Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Friday, January 20, 2012

Yemeni opposition: Saleh family let al Qaeda take over town

Yemen's largest opposition coalition blamed President Ali Abdullah Saleh's ruling family for causing chaos in the town of Radda, Baitha province, and said the family intentionally eased the way for al Qaeda militants to take over the town.

The Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) said this strategy was used in an effort to delay the presidential elections and halt the power transfer from taking place.

"Only Saleh would hand over a town to terrorists. He does not care for Yemen or its people," said Ahmed Bahri, a senior JMP leader.

Numerous tribal chiefs told CNN that the suspected al Qaeda militants are now in control of the Sawadia Republican Guard's base in Radda and entered the town without a fight. Saleh's eldest son, Ahmed, runs the guards.

"Everything was handed over to the militants. What other explanation can there be? Hundreds of Republican Guard forces suddenly evacuated the base without a fight," said Abdullah al-Barraki, a tribal chief in Radda.

CNN was able to independently verify that the militants were now in control of the base. Read More