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You're reading: Al-Qaida in Yemen captures town south of capital
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The capture of Radda in Bayda province, some 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of Sanaa, underscores the growing strength of al-Qaida in Yemen as it continues to take advantage of the weakness of a central government struggling to contain nearly a year of massive anti-government protests.

The opposition has accused President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is to step down this month in line with a power transfer deal, of allowing the militants to overrun the city to bolster his claims that he must remain in power to secure the country against the rising power of Islamist militants.

Security officials said the militants threw a security ring around Radda, preventing residents from leaving or entering, and killed two soldiers and wounded a third in clashes with army troops.

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