(AFP) March 12, 2012
ADEN — Yemen police and southern separatists clashed on Monday in the country's mostly lawless southeast province of Hadramawt, with one person killed in the fighting, a medical official told AFP.
At least six other southern activists were injured in the clashes, three of them with gunshot wounds, said the medic, adding that all of the injured were being treated at a local hospital in the provincial capital of Mukalla.
According to a southern activist, who also spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity, the violence began after police used tear gas and live bullets to stop youths who were attacking shops for refusing to close down for the funeral of a fellow separatist.
Late last month, two Yemeni soldiers were killed in a gun battle that erupted when troops moved in to dismantle a tent camp of southern militants in the southern port city of Aden.
Soldiers met stiff resistance from the southerners, who have been camped in the square for months, and the fighting lasted for several hours before the troops managed to break up the camp.
Aden is a stronghold of southern militants demanding either autonomy or outright independence for the south, which was a separate country until 1990.
Southern activists seriously disrupted the single-candidate presidential poll in February which ended Ali Abdullah Saleh's 33-year rule over Yemen and made his deputy, Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi the first new president in Sanaa since 1978.