Thursday, January 20, 2011

Troops, protesters clash in south Yemen: witnesses

Observed By: Mr. Alaa Isam

A second night of clashes and gunbattles between the army and protesters in Yemen's main southern city of Aden left seven people wounded, three of them soldiers, witnesses and officials said.Skip related content

Security forces used tear gas and gun fire to disperse the protesters who took to the streets until late Wednesday night in several Aden neighbourhoods, the witnesses said.

Chanting pro-secessionist slogans, the protesters set car tyres ablaze, blocked several roads and wounded a soldier when they hurled stones at the security forces, said one witness.

In Al-Saada neighbourhood, two soldiers and a civilian were wounded in gunbattles, a security official said.

During the protests, security forces arrested dozens of members of the Southern Movement, an activist, Ahmed al-Zubeiri, told AFP.

Dozens of other protesters were rounded up during similar clashes in Aden on Tuesday, witnesses said.

The main leaders of the Southern Movement, Ali Salem al-Baid, who is in exile, and Hassan Baoum -- freed by the authorities early this month -- had called for Tuesday to be a "day of rage" to protest against the government in Sanaa.

South Yemen was independent from 1967, when Britain withdrew from Aden, until the region united with the north in 1990.

The south attempted to secede in 1994, sparking a short-lived civil war that ended with it being overrun by northern troops

Many residents of south Yemen complain of discrimination by the Sanaa government in the distribution of resources, sparking frequent protests, with calls ranging from economic and social improvements to full independence.


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