Thousands from Troubled Yemeni Town Protest Soldiers' Brutality

Published May 11th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Several thousand people demonstrated in the troubled south Yemeni town of Dhaleh on Thursday to protest the lawlessness and brutality of the security forces based there, witnesses said. 

Demonstrators took to the streets of Dhaleh, some 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the southern port city of Aden, with placards urging the "closure of military roadblocks" and protesting "lack of security" in the town. 

One person was killed and five injured in a shoot-out Saturday between soldiers and residents. 

The protestors demanded that those officials responsible for the gun battle be tried as "war criminals", according to witnesses. 

Saturday's trouble started when a local man driving his car was stopped and beaten by the security forces of the interior ministry, according to the opposition. 

In a statement released on Monday in Aden, several Yemeni opposition groups denounced the government's "pursuit of oppression, terrorism and aggression against citizens." 

In mid-March, thousands demonstrated in Dhaleh in support of opposition calls for the release of prisoners, the demilitarization of the town, and for soldiers from the former South Yemen to be integrated into the army. 

The army is deployed in force in Dhaleh province, which has regularly been the scene of incidents between the military and civilians since July 1998. 

The former North and South Yemen were unified in 1990, although the north crushed a southern secession bid in a 1994 civil war -- ADEN (AFP). 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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