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Middle East
Deadly protests hit Yemen
At least two killed and dozens arrested as police crack down on demonstrators.
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2009 01:30 GMT
Thousands have marched across southern Yemen to mark the failed 1994 secession [AFP]

At least two people have been killed in southern Yemen after police opened fire to break up protests in several neighbourhoods.

Dozens of demonstrators were also arrested as they marched to mark the 15th anniversary of the end of the country's civil war.

Nine other people were wounded, including three policemen, in the clashes on Tuesday, opposition members and local doctors said.

Nasser al-Khabagi, a local opposition leader, said police opened fire to disperse the crowd, and shot Walid al-Suneidi, a political activist in his 20s.

Al-Suneidi later died from head wounds, a doctor at al-Mansoura hospital in the port city of Aden said.

Outside the port of Mukalla in the southern province of Hadramaut, Ahmed Madi, a local council member, said one person was killed when police fired at a demonstration.

The situation was tense in other towns, including Lahij, Abyan and Dhaleh.

Early this week thousands took to the streets to mark the defeat of southern secessionist forces in 1994, shouting anti-government slogans and calling for the south to break away.

The government has blamed the unrest on southern rebels demanding secession, but many in the impoverished south have been protesting against bad living conditions.

There have been sporadic clashes between police and protesters in the south over the past few months, leaving at least 18 people dead, including five policemen, since late April.

Source:
Agencies
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