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Abyan is a governorate of Yemen. The Abyan region was historically part of the Fadhli Sultanate. It was a base to the Aden-Abyan Islamic Army militant group. Its capital is the city of Zinjibar. This governorate is noted for its agriculture, in particular the cultivation of date palms and animal husbandry. On 31 March 2011, Al Bawaba reported that Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula had declared Abyan an "Islamic Emirate" after seizing control of the region. The New York Times reported that those in control, while Islamic militants, are not in fact Al-Qaeda. This takeover was confirmed on May 28. Yemeni government forces launched an effort to re-establish control of the region, resulting in the Battle of Zinjibar. In addition to Zinjibar, the towns of Jaʿār and Shuqrah were firmly under the control of the Islamists. In early May 2012 the Yemeni Army began a major offensive to wrestle control of the province from militants. Government forces captured Zinjibar and Jaar on 12 June after a month of heavy fighting. Militants reportedly retreated towards the town of Shuqrah. (via Freebase)