Last updated: 15 June, 2012

Yemen army clashes with southern separatists

Several people were wounded on Friday when Yemeni forces clashed with southern separatists in Aden after troops removed a year-old protest camp, a local official said.

Eight people, including six soldiers, were hurt in the ongoing gun battle in the Mansur district, which erupted when the army moved in to clear the main road blocked by the encampment occupied by militants from the Southern Movement, he said.

Dozens were still frequenting the camp, which is made of a large marquee erected in the middle of the road, demanding the secession of the former South Yemen.

The army dismantled the camp and opened the road, the official said.

Activists said they were fighting back to regain control of the protest area, and accused the army of using force.

The gunfight took place a day after an army post in Mansur was attacked, the official said.

It also came as the army notched up significant victories against Al-Qaeda network in the south, recapturing three cities in the space of a week.

Aden is a stronghold of southern militants demanding either autonomy or outright independence for the south, which was a separate country until 1990.