Suspected Al Qaeda gunmen have overrun the southern Yemeni city of Zinjibar after heavy clashes with security forces left 16 dead, an official told AFP Sunday.
Two other officials said that fighting raged in the city on Friday and Saturday, with 15 soldiers and one civilian killed in the violence.
“About 300 Islamic militants and Al Qaeda men came into Zinjibar and took over everything,” one resident told Reuters Sunday.
A security official told AFP that he estimated over 200 militants attacked the city. Another official said the attackers “took over all government facilities”.
Residents also said the gunmen freed dozens of prisoners from the city’s main prison.