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106 dead in Yemen fighting, 55 troops held captive

Al-Qaida militants have launched a surprise attack against army bases in southern Yemen, killing 78 soldiers, seizing weapons and parading 55 troops they had taken captive through the centre of a town under their control.

(AP) Sanaa - The battle in Abyan province shows how militants have taken advantage of the political turmoil created by the year-long uprising against then-President Ali Abdullah Saleh who last month handed over power to a successor.

The scale of Sunday's attack points to the combat readiness of the militants as they launch more and more attacks in a region that the United States considers a key battleground in the war on al-Qaida.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

After Belgorod: Does The Russian Opposition Have A Path To Push Out Putin?

The month of May has seen a brazen drone attack on the Kremlin and a major incursion by Russian rebels across the border war into the Russian region of Belgorod. Could this lead to Russians pushing Vladimir Putin out of power? Or all-out civil war?

After Belgorod: Does The Russian Opposition Have A Path To Push Out Putin?

Ilya Ponomarev speaking at a Moscow opposition rally in 2013.

-Analysis-

We may soon mark May 22 as the day the Ukrainian war added a Russian front to the military battle maps. Two far-right Russian units fighting on the side of Ukraine entered the Belgorod region of the Russian Federation, riding on tanks and quickly crossing the border to seize Russian military equipment and take over checkpoints.

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This was not the first raid, but it was by far the longest and most successful, before the units were eventually forced to pass back into Ukrainian territory. The Russian Defense Ministry’s delay in reacting and repelling the incursion demonstrated its inability to seal the border and protect its citizens.

The broader Russian opposition — both inside the country and in exile — are actively discussing the Belgorod events and trying to gauge how it will affect the situation in the country. Will such raids become a regular occurrence? Will they grow more ambitious, lasting longer and striking deeper inside Russian territory? Or are these the first flare-ups at the outset of a coming civil war? And, of course, what fate awaits Vladimir Putin?

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