Tensions escalate between Yemen's military, secessionists after clashes leave 8 dead Monday

Published December 30th, 2013 - 11:16 GMT
Yemeni soldiers were attacked Monday in the country's southern region (File Archive/AFP)
Yemeni soldiers were attacked Monday in the country's southern region (File Archive/AFP)

Eight people were killed in southern Yemen Monday during a militant attack on army personnel, according to Agence France-Presse.


Five soldiers and three militants were killed and four other troops were abducted during the attack.


AFP's military sources say that the attack was executed by southern secessionists. "Attackers from the Southern Movement armed with automatic rifles and anti-tank rockets launched the attack, destroying two tanks and killing five soldiers."


However, leaders of the secession movement have denied the accusation.


Tensions have escalated between southern Yemen and Sanaa since clashes between military and secessionists who attempted to raise the former South Yemen flag on the governor's office last week turned deadly. Three, including two policemen, were killed.


Failed national dialogue talks earlier this year also reflect the deteriorating relationship between southerners and Yemen's central government.


Before 1990, Yemen was divided in two separate countries since its independence from Britain in 1967. It was formed into one unified country in 1990, and southern grievances sparked a civil war four years later.  The oust of former Yemeni leader Ali Abdullah Saleh last year has renewed southern calls for secession.


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