1. Seized

    Al Qaeda Takes Yemen Town

    A view of Radaa castle, background, which was seized by al-Qaida militants in Radaa city south east of Sanaa, Yemen, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012. For the past two days, around 200 al-Qaida militants have been occupying a 500-year-old mosque and school and their surroundings in the central province of Bayda.  On Friday the militants overran the building, which has not been in use for years. The site was a tourist attraction in the town of Radda. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

    Hani Mohammed / AP Photo

    Al-Qaeda fighters have taken over a town south of Yemen’s capital and freed 150 inmates from a local prison. They also seized weapon caches and vehicles from the town’s security headquarters, after shooting and chasing off the guards, and distributed them to the freed inmates. Residents tell the Associated Press that the black al Qaeda flag is being flown above the local mosque and militants are armed with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons. Opponents of President Abdullah Saleh, who is supposed to step down this month, accuse the president of allowing the militants to take the town in order to support his argument that he must be allowed to stay in order to stop al Qaeda.

    Read it at The Associated Press