Two People killed in Aden province
16 suspected Al-Qaeda militants killed in Abyan Province
Unknown armed men attack in Hadhramout Province
Huge explosion in Al-Mukalla Prison
By Fatik al-Rodaini
SANA'A, March 18, 2012- At least two people were killed on Sunday night, including a girl, and several others wounded in Yemen's southern port of Aden.
A security official said clashes between Yemeni troops and southern movement fighters took place in Al-Mala district during a bid by Yemeni security forces to open the main road and to remove remnants from the road.
Sources said that Sameh Mohamed Al-Yazeida, and one of his relatives were killed while passing by, along with two others standers-by.
Yemen Interior Ministry stated in its website that two soldiers were injured during the clashes.
The tensions between Yemeni government and Southern Movement fighters have risen in the past two weeks especially after appointing a new governor and a security director for Aden province.
In an interview with the New York Times in Febuary, 2010, separatists claim that more than 100 people have been killed in clashes with the police and security forces since the southern movement began in 2007, with arrested secessionists numbering around 1,500 remaining in prison as of early 2010.
The movement for an independent South Yemen has gained strength since 2007, when protests broke out over the forced early retirement of several army officers from the south. Fears of a renewed civil war are constant, and many Yemenis still remember the bloody 1994 civil war.
Further south, security officials said that at least 16 suspected Al-Qaeda militants were killed when missiles fired from the sea slammed into Al-Qaeda positions in the Yemen southern province of Abyan.
The sources said that heavy shelling began overnight targeting the northeastern suburbs of Zinjibar, which jihadists have controlled since May following fierce fighting with government troops. He added that many bases of Al-Qaeda were destroyed and 16 jihadists were killed.
Al-Qaeda militants have exploited the weakening central government in Sana'a to strengthen their presence in the country, especially across the restive south and southeast.
Zinjibar is the capital of Abyan province, a stronghold of the jihadists' local affiliate Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, whose militants fight under the banner of Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law).
Moreover, in Yemen southern province of Hadhramout, unknown armed men carried out an attack on government vehicle in Al-Katen district, wounding three people.
The attackers stole the vehicle and ran away. No one, nor any group, claimed responsibility for the attack.
No more details were reported.
Meanwhile, a huge explosion hit Al-Mukalla Central Prison where suspected Al-Qaeda militants escaped from last year.
Witnesses told local news websites saying that black smoke is seen coming from the jail. No more details were reported.
Last year, nearly 60 suspected al-Qaeda militants tunneled their way out of a Yemeni prison in the lawless south, deepening the chaos of a nation where protesters are trying to topple the autocratic regime.
The escape from the Mukalla prison in Hadramout province is the latest sign that Islamic militants are seizing on the mayhem to operate more freely, something the U.S. fears will become an increasing international threat if the impoverished nation grows even more unstable. Hundreds of Islamic militants have also taken control of several southern towns in recent year.