Al Qaeda militants attacked several military bases in Yemen, killing hundreds and presenting an early challenge for the new government of Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
An Obama administration plan expanding CIA use of armed drones to hunt for Al Qaeda affiliates in Yemen risks exacerbating the country's march toward civil war.
Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen's president, may be injured more critically than US officials originally thought, complicating the US response to increased instability in a key battleground in the war against al-Qaida.
With Yemeni violence persisting as President Saleh convalesces in Saudi Arabia, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recommended an immediate transition to a new government.
Gen. Ali Moshen al-Ahmar, a top military leader who defected in March, has backed the powerful Hashid tribal confederation with 1,000 troops of his own.
President Saleh, increasingly embattled as civil unrest spreads and tribal leaders intensify their fight, says that Al Qaeda seized the capital of Abyan province. But residents saw no evidence of a fight.