March 17, 2012 –AFP-
Yemeni security forces and unknown gunmen clashed Saturday in the southern port city of Aden, wounding two policemen and a civilian, a security official told AFP.
The gunfight erupted in the city's Mualla neighbourhood a day after a member of the Al-Qaeda-linked Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law) was arrested in the same district, the official said on condition of anonymity.
"Two members of the security forces and a civilian were wounded in the shootout," he said, without giving any more details.
Aden, Yemen's largest southern city, has been plagued by violence since Al-Qaeda-linked militants overran several towns in neighbouring Abyan province last May.
The extremist group has increased its influence in the country's mostly lawless south and east since mass protests demanding the ouster of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, which erupted in January 2011, weakened the central government and divided its security forces.
Aden is also a stronghold of militants demanding either autonomy or outright independence for the south, which was a separate country until 1990.
Activists seriously disrupted the single-candidate presidential poll in February which ended Saleh's 33-year rule over Yemen and made his deputy, Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi the first new president in Sanaa since 1978.