Thursday, February 23, 2012

Yemen troops kill secessionist demonstrator in south

ADEN, Yemen, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Yemeni troops opened fire on Thursday on a rally by southern secessionists opposed to this week's presidential election, killing one protester and wounding three others, an activist said.
Yemenis voted for a new president on Tuesday after a year-long uprising ousted long-serving ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Secessionists who want to revive a socialist southern state which was unified with the north in 1990 by Saleh, opposed the vote in which Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, Saleh's long-time right-hand and former army general, was the sole candidate.
"Soldiers shot at people celebrating the (southern) boycott of the elections. One person died in my arms before we could get him to a hospital," activist Hassan al-Jilani said from the city of Mukalla in southeastern Hadramout province.
Shi'ite rebels in the north, who were left out of a deal to ease Saleh out of power through the election, also opposed the vote.
The vote was backed by the United States and Yemen's rich neighbours led by Saudi Arabia, which - alarmed at signs of al Qaeda exploiting the disorder wracking the country to strengthen its regional foothold - sponsored the peace deal signed in November providing for Saleh to hand power to Hadi.

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