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The Al-Qaeda insurgency in Yemen refers to armed conflict between the Yemeni government with United States assistance, and al-Qaeda affiliated cells. The ongoing strife is often categorized as a sub-conflict in the greater Global War on Terror. Government crackdown against al-Qaeda cells began in 2001, and reached an escalation point on January 14, 2010 when Yemen declared open war on al Qaeda. In addition to battling al Qaeda across several provinces, Yemen is also contending with Shi'ite insurgency in the north and militant separatists in the south. Fighting with al-Qaeda escalated during the course of the 2011 Yemeni revolution, with Jihadists seizing most of the Abyan Governorate and declaring it an Emirate at the close of March. A second wave of violence occurred throughout early 2012, with militants claiming territory across the southwest amid heavy combat with government forces. (via Freebase)