SANAA, May 28 (Xinhua) -- The Yemen-based al-Qaida wing on Saturday declared the provincial capital city of southern Abyan province as the capital city of its "Islamic Emirate" in a statement the group read in front of local residents.
The al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has almost taken over all parts of Abyan province after it seized the province capital city of Zinjibar on Friday, according to the residents.
A local government official told Xinhua that the "fighters of AQAP took over the whole city of Zinjibar on Friday and on Saturday the group seized 30 police cars after two police camps surrendered to AQAP."
"They (AQAP) transported the 30 police cars to the neighbor city of Jaar, which is believed to be the stronghold of the group, " he added, requesting anonymity.
Meanwhile, a doctor of al-Razi Hospital in Jaar told Xinhua that the death toll among al-Qaida militants from the Friday's clashes with government forces rose to four as dozens of the militants were still suffering serious injuries.
Residents from several cities of Abyan said blackouts have hit the majority part of the province since earlier Friday.
An aid to the Abyan governor said the governor was not available to reach for security reasons.
Late on Friday, the AQAP militants gunned down five Yemeni policemen, including a high-ranking officer, hours after they took over several government buildings and two state-run banks in Abyan, according to a local security official.
Since the eruption of the four-month-long anti-government protests aimed at ousting Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been in power since 1978, the AQAP has launched sporadic heavy attacks on Zinjibar.