Residents of cities in southern Yemen on Sunday staged a general strike to protest what they claimed government oppression in addition to action taken against a daily newspaper, AFP reported. The strike was almost total in the southern provinces of Dhale, Lahaj, Shabwa and Abyan as all shops were shut and transportation ground to a halt, eyewitnesses said.
Abdo al-Maatari, one of the leaders of the separatist movement in the south, conveyed the half-day protest was against "central government oppression" and would be peaceful. "This protest confirms that we are adopting civilised and peaceful means with regards to the issue of the south. It is a practical response to those who tried to link our movement with Al-Qaeda," he told AFP.
The council of the so-called "Peaceful Revolution of the South" said in a website statement that the strike came following "repeated central government attacks." It said the strike would continue until midday Sunday.