South Yemen officials: Raid kills southern activist, his family in crackdown on separatists

By Ahmed Al-haj, AP
Monday, March 1, 2010

Yemen raid kills southern activist, family

SAN’A, Yemen — A government raid left a southern activist, his wife and three children dead during an ongoing crackdown on southern separatists in Yemen, local officials said Monday.

The officials said Ali Saleh al-Hadi was killed with his family in a pre-dawn raid Monday on their home in Zinjabar town in southern Abyan province.

Two soldiers also died in the raid, the southern officials said but provided no details. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to talk to the media. Government officials in the capital, San’a, did not comment the raid.

South Yemen was once a separate country and simmering tensions there have compounded Yemen’s troubles as it struggles with a resurgent al-Qaida movement. Yemen is also the poorest country in the Arab world and home to heavily armed tribes that barely acknowledge the central government’s authority.

The unrest in southern Yemen is separate from a six-year conflict in the country’s north between government troops and Shiite rebels. That conflict appears to be drawing to a close since the two sides agreed to a cease-fire last month.

Southerners who joined a unified Yemeni 1990 have started a political movement demanding secession from the North, blaming the northerners for marginalizing them.

Also on Monday, demonstrations continued for a third day in several southern provinces, with protesters chanting anti-government slogans and condemning abuses by the government. The southern movement, meanwhile, accused security forces of continuing to raid houses in southern towns and arresting dozens of supporters.

Yemeni police arrested 21 people on Sunday for allegedly belonging to the movement. Brig. Ghazi Mohsin said police also confiscated weapons and separatist literature during raids Saturday in the southern city of Dali, 125 miles (200 kilometers) south of San’a.

Donor countries met in Saudi Arabia on Saturday to decide how best to spend international aid recently pledged to Yemen in the effort to stabilize the violence-torn nation.

will not be displayed