Thousands of Yemeni supporters of the separatist Southern Movement demonstrate on December 12, 2010 in the southern Yemeni town of Daleh
Thousands of Yemeni supporters of the separatist Southern Movement demonstrate on December 12, 2010 in the southern Yemeni town of Daleh © - AFP/File
Thousands of Yemeni supporters of the separatist Southern Movement demonstrate on December 12, 2010 in the southern Yemeni town of Daleh
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AFP
Last updated: January 18, 2014

Yemen army shell kills woman and daughters

Army shelling have killed a pregnant woman and her young daughters in the same south Yemeni town where a bombardment killed 19 mourners last month, medics said on Saturday.

In separate violence in the restive south, where Al-Qaeda militants and secessionists are active, gunmen shot dead an army intelligence office and two soldiers, security officials said.

A shell slammed into the home of Yassin Said, in the southern town of Daleh, wounding him seriously and killing his wife and their three- and five-year-old daughters late Friday, medics said.

Support for renewed independence in south Yemen runs deep in Daleh. The town has been rocked by frequent clashes between the army and secessionists since the deadly December 27 bombardment of a funeral for a man killed in a clash with troops.

On Friday two soldiers and two activists of the Southern Movement were killed in the town.

Southern Movement activist Abderrahim al-Naqib said the army had shelled residential areas and a hospital in the town.

And on Saturday a military intelligence officer was killed in a drive-by shooting by gunmen who fled on a motorbike in Huta, capital of the southern province of Lahj, a security official said.

Further north in the town of Al-Milah armed men ambushed an army vehicle and shot dead two soldiers, another security official said.

The official blamed that attack on secessionists and said it was in revenge for the bloodshed in Daleh.

There were no immediate claim of responsibility for either attack, but the drive-by shooting in Lahj resembles previous attacks carried out by Al-Qaeda militants in the region.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has been blamed for most of the increasingly common hit-and-run strikes targeting military personnel in Yemen.

The group, considered by Washington to be the most dangerous affiliate of the Al-Qaeda network, has taken advantage of a decline in central government control during Yemen's 2011 uprising to seize large swathes of territory across the south.

Yemen is also plagued by demands from southerners for independence.

After British colonial rule ended in 1967, southern Yemen was independent until union with the north in 1990.

A secession attempt four years later sparked a brief civil war that ended with northern forces taking over the south.

Southern grievances have hindered the political transition rule of veteran strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh, who stepped down in 2012 following 11 months of Arab Spring-inspired protests.

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