Thursday, February 24, 2011

Nine dead and 80 injured amidst violent clashes in Aden

Nashwan al-Othmani
and Imad al-Sakkaf


The death toll in Aden has increased to nine after a week of violent confrontations between security forces and protestors. In addition a local authority building was set on fire along with security patrol cars and citizens’ vehicles in al-Mansoura and Sheikh Othman districts of Aden.

During the past two days a security belt has been imposed among the city’s districts at crossroads and street junctions leading to the bus stop in al-Mansoura which has been occupied by a youth sit-in, demanding the regime step-down.

Sources say the number of people performing the sit-in is not large and it varies from place to place. Sources also state that the numbers decrease during the day and increases remarkably at night. The same sources said that trade and economic activities have largely been paralyzed in Aden and many shops and restaurants have closed their doors due to the violence taking place.

Last week a teenager named Ali al-Khulaqi was injured in Khour Maksar and later died of his injuries. Local sources said that a Central Security Forces shot Ali and his friends while they were demonstrating near al-Jamhouri hospital by burning tires.

According to youth activist Ala’a al-Aghbari of Aden, the reasons behind the large number of recent casualties is the absence of the press, poorly organized demonstrations and the fear that Aden may fall into the hands of the Southern separatists.

Earlier this week, security forces arrested Mr. Hassan Ba Oum, a leader of the Southern Movement after breaking through the hospital in which he was receiving treatment after suffering a heart attck. Well-placed sources indicate that Ba Oum was transferred to Sana’a by air.

Since the outbreak of the protests demanding president Saleh’s resignation, government departments and schools in Aden have undergone a total paralysis while traffic has increased. Al-Mansoura district is still completely shut by the army and cars are unable to enter Aden between 6:00pm until 6:00am.

Khour Maksar witnessed violent actions that included burning tires and stone throwing on al-Arish road. Gunfire was exchange by the army and militants said to belong to the Abyan governorate.

In al-Mansora the local council building was burned in addition to a number of vehicles among which were vans and a patrol car. Another local council bulding was also burned in Sheikh Othman on Friday and its member resigned in protest against the use of live bullets against demonstrators and a security patrol car was subject to drive-by shooting from an identified car resulting in the injury of two soldiers.

Sira local council’s members also resigned and that of al-Mansoura suspended its activities until further notice for the same reason.

As a part of the resignation series, Dr. Abdul Bari Dughaish, an MP representing consistuency 28 of Dar Sa’ad resigned from the ruling party as the second GPC member after Mr. Abdul Karim Al-Aslami of Hajja governorate to leave the party.

Women’s demonstrations

For the first time since the outbreak of the current protests against the political system, an all-woman demonstration in Crater Tuesday evening led by teachers, rights activists and politicians.

Sources informed Yemen Times that some persons described as “interpolated” tried in vain to obstruct the march comprised of tens of Yemen. It was remarkable that the demonstration included leading women from Yemen Children League party (Ra’ai) after the party’s express statement in Aden last Saturday that it will join people requesting the political regime in Yemen to leave. Students of Engineering College at Aden University at al-Mulla’a protested last Tuesday in solidarity with the persons killed and injured in Aden and aksed for the regime to leave.


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