3 Yemenis shot dead during southern separatist marches
Sunday, 08 July 2012 07:59 GMT
Protest march on south Yemen to marck end of war between north and south
Sanaa – Khalid HarojiYemeni security forces shot dead three men in south Yemen on Saturday, wounding ten others during demonstrations by southern separatists, but officials said protesters had attacked security personnel and soldiers.
A man was shot dead by a sniper as he marched with several hundred protesters in Aden who were attempting to enter a public square in the Mansoura district of the Arabian Sea port city, said Hussein Zaid bin Yahya, a leader of the Southern Movement.
Security forces and the army had tried to block the protesters' way near the square, Yahya said.
The march was held to commemorate the day in 1994 when government forces from Sanaa stormed Aden at the end of a brief civil war. Aden was the capital of the former South Yemen until unification in 1990.
In the town of Sayun in the southeast region of Hadramaut, a man was shot dead and three others wounded when security forces attacked another demonstration marking the same occasion, a Southern Movement activist said.
When asked to comment on the report, a security source said security forces had taken action against protesters who attacked shops owned by Yemenis from the north.
Yemen, an impoverished Arabian Peninsula state that straddles major shipping routes, has been in turmoil since an uprising against veteran ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh began last year after the successful Arab Spring uprising in Tunisia.
The US-backed government is battling al-Qaeda-linked militants who had become entrenched in parts of the south in the past year and who have tried to use their foothold to stage attacks in Saudi Arabia and the United States.
The ministry of defence said on Friday that unidentified gunmen attacked a government building in Dalea province in the south with grenades and gunshots.
It also said that security forces defused an explosive device found in front of the tax authority building in Aden.