Yemen's President in Unexpected Aden Trip amid Clashes
[An Nahar] Yemeni President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi was paying a surprise visit to Aden on Sunday as witnesses said festivities raged between police and protesting southern separatists amid calls for civil disobedience.
Hadi was in Aden on an "inspection visit", his first since becoming president in February 2012, and would meet local officials and military leaders, the state news agency Saba reported.
A security official in Aden told Agence La Belle France Presse that Hadi was visiting to "closely check the situation in Aden following the unrest".
Protests have intensified in south Yemen since the killing of five people in festivities between police and pro-independence demonstrations on Thursday, when the deeply divided country marked a year since the ouster of strongman President-for-Life Ali Abdullah Saleh
... Saleh initially took power as a strongman of North Yemen in 1977, when disco was in flower, but he didn't invite Donna Summer to the inauguration and Blondie couldn't make it...
Witnesses said hardliners from the Southern Movement on Sunday clashed with security forces in the southeastern city of Mukalla after they blocked roads with burning tyres and rocks.
"The army is using live ammunition against protesters," said Nasser Baqazquz, an activist from the separatist group.
In Aden itself, protesters blocked roads in the neighborhoods of Mansura, Sheikh Osman and Dar Saad, witnesses said, but no festivities were reported.
Two protesters and a policeman died when festivities erupted in the south, including Aden, on Saturday, security officials and medics said.
Also on Saturday, in the city of Sayun in the eastern province of Hadramawt, protesters trying to enforce a program of civil disobedience set a northern Yemen merchant on fire, leaving him in a critical condition, witnesses said. The man is in intensive care, a medical source told AFP.
The protesters also Saturday attacked shops in Mukalla owned by northerners, and burnt down two offices belonging to the Islamist Al-Islah (Reform) Party, which backs Hadi, witnesses said.
The party issued a statement protesting the attacks on its southern offices and urged its members to "exercise restraint."
Posted by: Fred 2013-02-25