SANAA, Yemen, April 24 (UPI) -- Yemeni lawmakers said they're considering talking with an offshoot of al-Qaida in an effort to stem violence in the country.
Yemeni lawmakers are calling for formal negotiations with Ansar al-Sharia, which the independent Yemen Post describes as an offshoot of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
The Post said lawmakers are concerned about the declining security situation in southern Yemen. The militant group is said to have more than 70 soldiers in custody and has threatened to execute them unless certain unspecified demands were met within a week, the newspaper reports.
Senior White House officials told The Washington Post last week, on condition of anonymity, that the CIA was looking to conduct more strikes on al-Qaida targets in Yemen.
AQAP activity in Yemen has escalated since President Abdu Rabo Mansour Hadi took power in February.
Yemeni authorities had warned that AQAP was planning an assault on the nation's capital. The group was allegedly responding to increased CIA drone activity over southern Yemen.