Yemeni police opened fire on protesters in the southern city of Aden leaving two dead and four wounded on what separatists have called a "day of rage."
Police fired tear gas and bullets at hundreds of supporters of the separatist Southern Movement on the 16th anniversary of the city being taken control by northern forces during a civil war. The separatists had called on its supporters to attend the funeral of a Aden resident Ahmed Mohammed Darwish who died in an Aden prison last Friday. The crowds reportedly raised pictures of Darwish, who was suspected of collaborating with Al Qaeda in an attack on the city's intelligence headquarters last month, and chanted, "revolution, revolution south."
"The police tried to prevent them from organizing an unlicensed march, but they attacked the police. The police responded by using gas bombs," a police official said. "But some of the elements were armed, so clashes happened and one of the protesters was killed," he added. According to AFP, Yemeni security forces detained six protests after firing on the crowd.
On Tuesday, Yemen's interior minister released a statement calling on "security services in several southern and eastern provinces to prevent outlaw elements from targeting security and stability through their suspicious calls for illegal demonstrations."
In addition to the demonstration, strikes were held in the southern provinces of Daleh, Lahij and Abyan on behalf of the Southern Movement.
Yemen has witnessed sporadic violence in the south over the past few months as separatists have launched an insurgency in hopes of breaking the unification of the north and south of country.